Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the people in the US to deter the Trump administration from putting boots on the ground in Venezuela, warning that any intervention would backfire leading to new Vietnam-like disaster.
In his first direct message to the American people, the Venezuelan leader urged them to stop the US government from entangling the nation in a pointless and inherently doomed military adventure.
“If the government of the United States intends to intervene us, they will have a much worse Vietnam than you could imagine.”
The 4-minute video, in Spanish with English subtitles, was posted on Maduro’s official Facebook page on Wednesday, shortly after he accused US President Donald Trump of ordering the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him, and rejected a European ultimatum to call snap presidential elections within 8 days.
Maduro accused the US media of waging a “brutal campaign of false images” to support the Trump administration’s interference in Venezuela.
“This campaign has been prepared to justify a coup d’état in Venezuela that has been set, financed and actively supported by Donald Trump administration.”
Effectively sidestepping his US counterpart, Maduro urged Americans to second-guess the distorted narrative peddled by the mainstream media. The embattled Venezuelan leader stated that Washington cannot use the same pretext to invade Venezuela as it did to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, so it is spreading new falsehoods about his government in hopes that something will tip the balance.
“They cannot invent that Venezuela and Maduro have [weapons of mass destruction] so they could intervene, they now invent lies every day, false news to justify an aggression against our country.”
Maduro reiterated that US interests in Venezuela are limited exclusively to its vast natural riches. Venezuela boasts the world’s largest confirmed oil reserves and the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas. The president said that by fomenting unrest in Venezuela, the US elites want “to put their hands” on that national treasure “as they did in Iraq and Libya.”
“We are a country of great resources, both natural and energetic. That is the truth and this explains the constant attacks against Venezuela. That’s why I appeal to your conscience and solidarity.”
He admitted that Venezuela faces a plethora of problems, “as any other country” and said Venezuelans can “solve them by ourselves,” without any outside meddling.
Describing himself as an admirer of US history, Maduro said that he hopes that reasonable US citizens will prevail, adding that America “is a great country, and it is much more than Donald Trump.”
“The United States is a great country and it is much bigger than Donald Trump,” he said. “I only ask for respect for Venezuela and I need your support to avoid a war like Vietnam.”
More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed and some four million Vietnamese died in what is now the second longest war in American history after Afghanistan. The US sent first 3,500 combat troops to South Vietnam in March 1965, to fight against the communist government of North Vietnam that sought to unify the country under its terms. While the intervention was first met enthusiastically by the American public, the protracted nature of the conflict and US inability to turn the tide of the war led to a massive anti-war movement in the US. The last US troops withdrew in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords. In 1975, troops from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam entered Saigon, the capital of US-backed South Vietnam, sealing the US military defeat.