- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The U.S. could use military force in Venezuela if Russia were to move weapons into the country, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday.

Speaking to a group of defense reporters, Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, said if Russia stationed weapons in Venezuela, “we’d have to, not go to war, but use force.”

Mr. Inhofe joined President Trump in declaring that military action is still an option. The president has been careful to keep the option available as a lever to persuade socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step aside.

The U.S. and other governments contend Mr. Maduro’s fraud-ridden election in 2018 was illegitimate and that National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido is in charge until new elections can be organized.

Russia, China, Cuba and Iran have expressed support for Mr. Maduro’s regime in Caracas.

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