At the same time, the special envoy said that while the military option remains on the table, as President Donald Trump and other officials have said on several occasions, it is not the current policy of the U.S. government.
Both Abrams and Carlos Trujillo, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, told reporters on Tuesday that invoking the TIAR -- also known as the Rio Treaty -- did not necessarily mean that Guaido would have military support from the United States, an expectation that had grown within Venezuela, especially within the opposition.
"It is wrong to think -- some people do -- that, oh, this is military action, this is the invasion," Abrams said.
In a call with journalists from Washington, Trujillo clarified that "the purpose of the TIAR is not to invoke military force. The purpose of the TIAR is to seek a legal framework that did not exist until now so that the member countries can move forward and put more pressure on Venezuela to seek a democratic change."
At the end of July, the opposition-controlled National Assembly approved the reincorporation of Venezuela into the TIAR. On Monday, the representative of Venezuela to the OAS, Gustavo Tarre, sent a letter requesting the Permanent Council convene the consultation body for the activation of the Treaty. Trujillo said the request had the majority of the votes and that its approval would be announced on Wednesday at an OAS meeting.
Possible issues that TIAR members could discuss, Abrams said, include the regional response to the refugee crisis, drug trafficking and the presence of irregular groups in Venezuela.
"All of the neighbors and really everyone in the international community should be very worried about this dangerous support for narco-terrorist groups by the Maduro regime," Abrams said. "I think we should all worry about whether the Maduro regime intends to try deliberately to escalate tensions."
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