February 25, 2019 / 7:32 PM / 9 months ago

Brazil will not allow U.S. to use its territory to invade Venezuela - vice president

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão said on Monday that under no circumstances would his country allow the United States to intervene militarily in Venezuela from Brazilian territory.

“Nobody is betting on a military solution,” Mourão, a retired general, told reporters in Bogotá during a meeting of the Lima Group, a bloc of nations from Argentina to Canada dedicated to peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis.

The Lima Group would not back an invasion by the United States, Mourão said, and will continue stepping up diplomatic, political and economic pressure on what he called the “regime” of Venezuelan leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

Brazil, like many Western governments, has recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said cracks already are appearing in Maduro’s support among the Venezuelan armed forces, with some 100 desertions during the weekend when the military blocked the entry of humanitarian aid at the borders with Colombia and Brazil. At least three people were killed in shooting.

The Venezuelan Army was not involved in the repression, a sign it was not prepared to shoot at its people, said Araujo, who was speaking alongside Mourão.

According to Mourão, China is rethinking its support for Maduro because it has realized his government will never pay back Chinese loans.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bill Trott

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