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Donald Trump and Juan Guaido need to resist the temptation to use foreign military force to resolve the crisis engulfing Venezuela, Professor Robert Patman says.
Mr Guaido is the presumed winner of a rigged general election that has seen the incumbent, Nicolas Maduro, tighten his authoritarian grip on the once prosperous and now deeply troubled South American nation.
Guaido's suggestion the United States could force Maduro from power is not wise, says Prof Patman, an international relations specialist at the University of Otago.
"The most effective way of toppling an authoritarian leader like Maduro is for the people themselves to do it,'' Prof Patman says.
"Any indication of foreign intervention or foreign interference usually plays in to the hands of the regime. After all, Maduro is claiming that he is the victim of a Yankee imperialist plot, and that would confirm it.''
The United States (US) president prides himself on his audacity and unpredictability.
But Trump is more likely to press South American allies to help Guaido rather than involving the United States directly in Venezuelan affairs, Prof Patman says.
He adds, what happens in Venezuela is important for New Zealand and other like-minded liberal democracies that believe in an international rules-based system.