As Venezuelans get ready for April’s presidential election, US Senator Marco Rubio claimed via Twitter the world would support Venezuela’s military if it decided to orchestrate a coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is up for re-election.
The Republican lawmaker from Florida tweeted on February 9: “The world would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator.”
Taking to Twitter that same day, Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly president, Delcy Rodriguez, hit back at Rubio, writing: "Mr. Marco Rubio you are a faithful representative of the miserable role of U.S. capitalism in ruining humanity and our America".
Rubio's comments come a week after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also voiced tacit support for a military coup in Venezuela.
"In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad, and the leadership can no longer serve the people," the former ExxonMobil CEO said during a speech at the University of Texas-Austin.
Tillerson also threatened an oil embargo on the Bolivarian nation that is already suffering a deep economic crisis exacerbated by US sponsored financial sanctions.
The US Department of State made a public statement on February 11 calling Venezuela's elections an attempt to "dismantle" democracy.