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US Steps Up Pressure On Venezuela's Maduro Regime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The Trump administration is outlining new steps to get Venezuela's military leaders to turn on socialist president Nicolas Maduro.

Meanwhile, the country's u.S.-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaidó tells CBS News he could be open to US military involvement in his country.

At the state department, Vice President Mike Pence announced new incentives to persuade the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro.

"The United States of America will consider sanctions relief for all those who step forward, stand up for the constitution and support the rule of law," Pence said.

Earlier, acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan met with Colombian officials where he said the Pentagon has been discussing several plans, including the deployment of a military hospital ship to the region.

"It's not about sending a ship down, you know, you have to get doctors and nurses and it's very highly choreographed in terms of the amount of people you have to put into place," Shanahan said.

In a new interview with CBS news, US-backed Guaidó weighed in on whether he thinks the US should intervene militarily.

"We want the best exit out of this conflict. And if there are options we have to consider and alternatives, then we will," said Guaidó.

Guiadó presided over a national assembly session Tuesday.

He called for a military uprising last week that failed and Maduro claimed victory.

"Venezuelans deserve a democracy that doesn't have any foreign party running their country. We want the Cubans out. We want the Iranians out, the Russian military out," said Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State.

Pompeo met with Russia's foreign minister this week to discuss the situation in Venezuela and may meet with him again later this month.

Pence also announced the US would hold all 25 magistrates of the Venezuelan Supreme Court accountable if it does not follow its country's constitution.

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