Members of the Trump administration over the last year secretly organized meetings with dissenters in the Venezuelan military to negotiate plans to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The story cited as its sources 11 U.S. officials as well as a former Venezuelan military commander who was included in the discussions. The plans did not continue, the report says, after a number of the Venezuelan participants were arrested.
The White House declined to give the Times a detailed statement, saying only that the administration supports "dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy" to "bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro."
While the Maduro regime is increasingly unpopular due to massive shortages of food and other necessities its policies have produced in Venezuela, U.S. interference is unlikely to be favorably received thanks to Washington's messy history of regime change and support of dictatorships in Latin America. Bonnie Kristian