MOSCOW – The US can increase its military contingent in Central and South America from 20,000 to 40,000 men, said Vice Admiral Igor Kostyukov, head of the Central Intelligence Department (GRU), the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Russia.
“Although there is no direct military threat to US security in Latin America, Washington has a significant military presence [in the region.] The Joint Command of the US Armed Forces has implemented a contingent of 20,000 military personnel in Central and South America but in period of threats this may increase to 40,000 military personnel,” Kostyukov explained.
According to him, the US can provoke a “colored revolution” in Nicaragua and Cuba.
“The ‘color revolution’ technologies tested in Venezuela may soon be used in Nicaragua and Cuba,” he said.
According to Kostyukov, the US is trying to establish total control over Latin America.
“The US Administration considers Latin America as a zone of its important strategic interests and makes considerable efforts to establish total control over the region,” he said.
Kostyukov also stated that the US has transformed the Organization of American States into a tool for “dissident repression” of other members of the organization, using a new version of the Monroe Doctrine to advance its interests in the region, including through pressure on “undesirable” .
He revealed that Washington spent $1.5 billion annually to “increase its influence” in Latin America. These are just the official data, not counting the different special programs.
The US is ready to accuse the legitimate Venezuelan authorities of funding international terrorism to justify military action and sanctions against the country, he said.
The political tension in Venezuela has increased since on January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaidó has declared himself interim president of the country.
Maduro accused Washington of organizing a coup attempt and announced the severance of diplomatic relations with the United States.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all options for what he described as “restoring democracy” in Venezuela remain at the table, including military intervention.
The United States and several countries in Europe and Latin America, including Brazil, have recognized Guaidó as interim president of the country.
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Turkey, Mexico, Iran and many other countries expressed their support for Maduro as legitimate president and demanded that other countries respect the principle of non-interference in Venezuelan internal affairs.