He was referring to Trump's improvised 2018 aid distribution in the USA territory following a hurricane, during which he threw rolls of paper towels. Total's Venezuela operations were previously managed from the US.
Representatives of the European Union and a group of Latin American governments met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Thursday to discuss the crisis. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the leader of the Venezuelan legislature, declared himself interim president and called for fair elections in response to the turmoil caused by Maduro's socialist government. On Friday, Romania's president became the latest world leader to recognize Guaido as interim president nearly a week after other European Union countries did so. Maduro has consistently denied that a humanitarian crisis is happening in the country, blaming food and medicine shortages on the U.S. sanctions, which have mostly targeted individuals and the state-owned oil company.
Accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales, center right, Venezuela's self proclaimed president Juan Guaido, arrives for a meet with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 9, 2019.
Negotiation remains unlikely unless the army distances itself from Maduro and "puts in place another interlocutor", says Anna Ayuso, of the Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) in Barcelona.
"That seems to be a growing popular opinion by many Venezuelans, they view that the only way to get that this criminal government out of power is by a coercive force", said Ana Quintana, Latin America policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.
"We will succeed in letting the humanitarian aid in, because it's about saving lives", Guaido posted on his official Twitter feed.
Elliot Abrams, the new United States envoy on the Venezuelan crisis, said that Washington was revoking the visas of an unspecified number of members of the Constituent Assembly.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center on the political crisis in Venezuela on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Doral, Florida. Long-time allies Russian Federation and China and several other countries continue to support Maduro.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Washington "will consider sanctions off-ramps for any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognises the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido".
Elliott Abrams, who leads the Trump administration's special envoy to Venezuela, said on Thursday that several countries have offered to take in Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. Do you think that Venezuela is going to give up and will obey your orders?
Asked what would happen if the Venezuelan military blocks the aid from going in, Whitaker said any obstacles would be dealt with as they arise and reiterated that Trump has made clear nothing is off the table - though, he added, the priority is to arrange a broad worldwide mission.
Two US trucks carrying food and medical supplies arrived at Venezuela's border this afternoon, according to a US official in the Colombian border town of Cucuta. On Wednesday the Venezuelan military, which backs Maduro, barricaded its own side of the border, vowing not to allow the aid to enter.
"If the White House's goal is regime change in Venezuela, which appears to be the case, then they should be concerned that their actions are generating a backlash against the U.S.in Venezuela and in the region", said Main.
In the May 2018 presidential elections in Venezuela, Falcon, a former member of Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), was the president's number one challenger, taking 1.9 million votes, roughly 21 percent of ballots cast.
Piva noted that while the Lima Group was not taking military intervention off the table, armed conflict was also not an imminent threat, at least from Colombia, because of the "huge political cost".