By Sinan Dogan
Venezuela has entered a new phase in its political crisis and Turkey may be a mediator in the process, an international relations expert said Monday.
"Russia and China will most probably not enter the game," Mehmet Ozkan told Anadolu Agency.
The former Director of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency in Colombia said Latin American countries and the U.S. will not put into effect the option of military intervention in Venezuela, unless it is constrained, adding they do not want to "have a Syria or Libya" on the continent.
"The option of military intervention was the lowest since the beginning," he added.
The future of the crisis will be shaped according to the "low-intensity diplomatic cold war" and the course of the negotiation process, he said.
Ozkan also stressed that the policy of further increasing the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro will come to the forefront in the coming days.
"More emphasis on political isolation will be put after the economic isolation."
He said that it will be the first priority for European countries to impose heavy sanctions on Maduro and those surrounding him, adding the main issue is the "separation from the Venezuelan military."
"The sooner the inner division -- especially in the army -- the faster the process will end," Ozkan said.
Husamettin Aslan, a researcher and expert on Latin America, said U.S. President Donald Trump abstains from the negative perception of war on public opinion.
"The war is the last to be used on the table and is a very weak option to use," Aslan said.
He also said the U.S. will need at least 100,000 troops to wage war against Venezuela, adding that Trump will not see it as a requirement.
Aslan said the U.S. has three main objectives in the region, including managing the narco-traffic ion the Colombia-Venezuela border -- where 75 percent of the world’s cocaine production is made; control of Amazon basin at the Venezuelan-Brazilian border and control of the terrestrial borders of Venezuela.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions escalated when opposition leader Juan Guaido, who heads Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself acting president Jan. 23, a move which was supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Turkey, Russia, Iran, Cuba, China and Bolivia reiterated their support for Maduro, who vowed to cut all diplomatic and political ties with the U.S. Maduro insists he is a victim of a U.S.-orchestrated coup amid spiraling economic and humanitarian crises in the country.
Trump pointed to military intervention as a possibility among a number of choices he could use to help resolve the crisis.
Venezuela is experiencing widespread shortages of food and medicine and has the highest inflation rate in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.