May 1, 2019 / 2:59 PM / 3 months ago

US military not given orders to prepare for war in Venezuela

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Wednesday appeared to downplay any active planning to directly intervene in Venezuela to topple President Nicolas Maduro, telling Congress it had not been given orders to prepare for war and stressing support for diplomacy.

Asked whether the U.S. military had been given instructions to prepare for a military conflict, perhaps by prepositioning troops, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger said: “We of course always review available options and plan for contingencies.”

“But in this case we have not been given (the) sort of orders that you’re discussing, no,” Wheelbarger told the House Armed Services Committee.

Reporting by Phil Stewart Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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