Venezuela crisis: Marco Rubio posts image of bloodied Colonel Gaddafi in apparent threat to Maduro

'The whole world saw them set fire to 3 trucks carrying food & other humanitarian aid'

Zamira Rahim
Monday 25 February 2019 00:20 GMT
Trump says Venezuela's military will 'lose everything they have' if they continue to support Maduro

Marco Rubio posted two photographs of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on his Twitter account on Sunday, in an apparent threat to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

The US senator is an influential voice in Washington on Venezuela policy and is a staunch critic of Mr Maduro, who has overseen his country's descent into chaos.

On Saturday the Florida politician said that the recent violence against civilians in Venezuela had "opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago".

In repeated tweets attacking Mr Maduro, the senator has claimed that many nations are "increasingly" willing to consider taking action against Venezuela.

Mr Rubio has also attacked the country's government for refusing aid.

"The whole world saw them set fire to 3 trucks carrying food & other humanitarian aid," Mr Rubio wrote on Saturday.

"They will soon realise just how badly they overplayed their hand today."

His tweet referencing Mr Gaddafi is the bluntest message yet to the Maduro administration.

Mr Gaddafi was killed after he was captured and manhandled by rebel militiamen in October 2011.

One of the photos posted by Mr Rubio shows the former Libyan leader bloodied and injured.

Mr Rubio had earlier tweeted a photograph of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who was captured by US forces in 1990 after an invasion.

The former dictator died in 2017, having spent the remainder of his life in US, French and Panamanian prisons.

Venezuela has been consumed with violence in recent days after Mr Maduro closed the country's borders with Colombia and Brazil.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido called on desperate civilians to help him bring international aid through the closed borders.

About 300 people, mostly thought to be civilians, were injured after troops fired tear gas at protesters, causing a stampede.

The US reaction to the rising violence has been increasingly hostile, with Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, declaring that Mr Maduro​'s "days are numbered".

Mike Pence, the US vice president, is due to meet with Latin American leaders in Colombia at an emergency meeting about the crisis on Monday.

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He is expected to announce "concrete steps" to deal with the violence at the gathering in Bogota and will also meet with Mr Guaido.

Additional reporting by agencies

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