Heightening already increased tensions with the country, a Navy destroyer, the USS Nitze, entered Venezuelan waters yesterday, conducting what the military is calling a “freedom of navigation operation” in the Caribbean. The Nitze, according to Southern Command’s official twitter account, was “contesting an excessive maritime claim by Venezuela. The U.S. Navy ship lawfully navigated an area the illegitimate Maduro regime falsely claims control over.” In addition to the Nitze, an American military Boeing RC-135W reconnaissance aircraft was also spotted in the area. In an official statement, Admiral Craig Faller, head of Southern Command, said that the move was carried out in order to increase regional peace and stability. “The United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, preserving the rights, freedoms and lawful use of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations,” he added.
The warship got to nearly 12 nautical miles from the coast where, last month, a botched invasion led by ex-Green Berets was foiled. The team hoped to shoot their way to the presidential palace, capture President Maduro, and replace him with U.S.-backed politician Juan Guaidó. Washington has been trying to overthrow the democratically elected government since the election of Maduro’s