US military threats empty, Venezuela army kept nervous, Russian pranksters find out
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US military threats empty, Venezuela army kept nervous, Russian pranksters find out

Abrams, however, asserted that the US wants to keep the Venezuela military “nervous about a US invasion.” The revelations came in two prank calls by Vovan and Lexus, Russian telephone pranksters known for their trolling of politicians from around the world, posing as Swiss President Ueli Maurer, Sputnik reported Wednesday. The pranksters reportedly spoke with Abrams for over 23 minutes in mid-February and early March, elaborating on Swiss policy towards the situation in Venezuela. Venezuela has been in political turmoil with the opposition holding widespread anti-government protests, blaming President Nicolas Maduro for an ailing economy, hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of basic items. Opposition figure Juan Guaido, 35, further plunged the country into political chaos on January 23, when he proclaimed himself the “interim president” of Venezuela, a bizarre move met with US President Donald Trump’s immediate support. Ever since, the US has been escalating its rhetoric against the oil-rich nation, at times threatening to invade the country. "You know, we are not going to do that. Unless the regime does something completely crazy like attacking the US embassy. But our information suggests that people in the regime and in the military are actually nervous about a US invasion. And we think it is useful to keep them nervous, which is one reason why we will not say publicly 'no, no, no, this will never happen,'" the special representative for Venezuela told the Russian pranksters. He also admitted that he has been trying to assure the US lawmakers not to worry about a military intervention. "In private briefings to members of Congress, this is exactly what I say to them, [that] 'we are not trying to make you in Congress nervous. We are trying to make the Venezuelan military nervous. And we think that it is a mistake tactically to give them endless reassurances that there will never be American military action.' But I can tell you this is not what we're doing. What we're doing is what you see – financial pressure, economic pressure, diplomatic pressure, political pressure," Abrams said.

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