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Ranking US Senator Calls for Invasion of Venezuela if Maduro Refuses to Resign

© AP Photo / Mark J. TerrillUS Senator Lindsey Graham
US Senator Lindsey Graham - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump needs to warn Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to leave office or face a US military invasion similar to the 1983 invasion of Grenada ordered by former President Ronald Reagan, Senator Lindsey Graham said in a press release.

"In the 1980s, confronted with Cuban intervention in Grenada, President Reagan intervened militarily, ensuring Grenada didn’t become a satellite state of Cuba", Graham said on Thursday. "The United States must be willing to intervene in Venezuela the way we did in Grenada".

Graham said if Trump put both Cuba and Maduro on notice, it would send a clear message to dictators and despots that the United States means what it says.

READ MORE: US Lists Venezuela as 'National Security Concern'

The crisis in Venezuela started in January after Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president and launched political protests. Maduro, in turn,  accuses the United States of attempting to orchestrate a coup and gain access to the country’s oil reserves by bringing a puppet politician to power. 

In this handout photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, accompanied by Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez, left, and the Strategies Operations Commander, Adm. Remigio Ceballos, arrive for a meeting with the troops at Fort Tiuna in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 2, 2019 - Sputnik International
Venezuela’s Maduro Orders Military to Prepare to Repel US Invasion
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

Trump has backed the government of self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido and assembled an international coalition, including the Organization of American States, to demand Maduro’s resignation. However, the effort has failed to persuade the majority of Venezuelans and the country’s military, leaving Maduro in office.

READ MORE: Venezuela to Get $400Mn in 'Humanitarian Aid' From US Senate

In 1983, 8,000 US soldiers defeated 700 Cuban troops in Grenada within a week and orchestrated a regime change, the tiny Caribbean island is just 100 miles from Venezuela.

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