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US Southern Command head focused on 'day after' in Venezuela

In this July 27, 2019 file photo, Admiral Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, speaks with the news media following a commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Navy's guided missile destroyer, the USS Paul Ignatius, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

LYNNE SLADKY/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 19, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO — The head of U.S. Southern Command says military officials are focusing on preparing for "the day after" once "isolated" Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leaves power.

Navy Adm. Craig Faller warned Monday against Venezuela's "formidable weapon system" and criticized Cuba, Russia and China for assisting Maduro, saying it was important to put "continuous pressure" on the "illegitimate regime" and organize humanitarian efforts.

Faller also shared concern about the growing influence of China in Brazil. China is the South American country's largest foreign investor.

The commander is in Rio de Janeiro for a multinational maritime exercise this month that partly aims to better coordinate the response to cyber war threats and natural disasters.

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