The US Navy is preparing for a conflict with Venezuela, a top US Naval commander said earlier this week.
Adm. Craig Faller, who oversees the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) said Tuesday that the Navy must be ready to "do what needs to be done" on Venezuela.
"I won't speak to details of what we're planning and what we're doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions, and we remain on the balls of our feet," Faller told reporters.
He added: "The United States Navy is the most powerful Navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I'm convinced that we'll be able to do what needs to be done."
Faller made the remarks in Rio de Janeiro, a large seaside city in Brazil, as the US launched UNITAS 2019, a multinational war exercise that is conducted annually in Latin America and the Caribbean.
RT USMC:— Michael Finley (@MFinley0311) August 19, 2019
Tomorrow, the world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise, UNITAS LX, kicks off in Brazil. pic.twitter.com/Un04vr5lyn
— U.S. Marines (USMC) August 19, 2019
The annual war exercise is being conducted off the coast of Brazil until Aug. 30.
Faller said UNITAS 2019 would send a clear message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
"[It] sends a message to Maduro and other partners that don't share the same values," he said. "Naval exercises send a message to the world of what democracies that work together can do across a range of complex threats."
"The US government['s] focus continues to be to place focused and targeted pressure on an illegitimate regime to ensure there's a transition to a legitimate, democratic government. Part of that focus is to ensure that the right humanitarian assistance is allowed to get to the people who need it," Faller said.
Maduro has been in power since 2013, but in January, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself as interim president, attempting to remove Maduro. The US and at least 50 other countries recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.
Russia, China, and Cuba are countries that have denounced the US' interventionist activities in the country. Russia has pledged to send warships to support Maduro, Newsweek recently reported.
Venezuela is suffering from economic collapse, with 25% of its 30 million population in desperate need of aid, according to the United Nations.
Millions have fled into Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and other nearby countries in the last several years.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration froze all Venezuelan government assets in the US, which clearly escalated economic and diplomatic pressure on Maduro.
Faller was asked about how Maduro will respond to the war drills, he said, "I don't know how Maduro looks at anything."
President Trump's war hawks, if that is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or National Security Advisor John Bolton, have actively been laying the groundwork in the last several years for conflict in Venezuela.
And it seems the possibility of conflict with Venezuela could be increasing, if not maybe somewhere else around the world [Strait of Hormuz], that is because the White House is preparing for a mild recession in 2020. And what better way to stimulate a faltering economy than a conflict, which is the best fiscal stimulus possible.