Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The head of the U.S. Southern Command warned Venezuela's military that it will be held accountable for any harm it causes civilians during the ongoing humanitarian crisis its country is experiencing.
Out front of SOUTHCOM headquarters in Doral, Fla., U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. military operations in South America and the Caribbean, spoke to journalists before hosting Colombian Army Maj. Gen. Luis Navarro Jiménez, Commanding General of the Colombian Military Forces.
The decorated Navy admiral said that they are prepared for confrontation with the Venezuelan military, WPLG reported.
"The president has been quite clear and our job as military professionals is to be ready," he said. "The world is united and we are working closely with our friends, the Colombians and others."
The commander's words come as tensions at the South American country's borders have spiked.
Large amounts of aid on the Colombian and Brazilian sides of the Venezuelan border have been waiting days to be transported into the country to slacken the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.
However, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denied that there is a crisis, claiming the aid effort is a move by the United States to destabilize his government.
In response, Maduro set up a blockade on a major bridge between Colombia and Venezuela among other efforts to block the aid with military force.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has the support of the American government in his claim to the helm of his country, has said the aid will be brought into Venezuela Saturday. He said he has enlisted 600,000 volunteers to help.
Faller said that the U.S. government is looking to achieve a diplomatic resolution to this problem, not a military one.
However, he still had a message for the Venezuelan military: "You ultimately will be held accountable for your actions. Do the right thing. Save your people and your country."
Navarro said the Colombian army also stands ready to "protect the civilian population" and he hopes the Venezuelan military "will protect their people as well," the Miami Herald reported.
"The Colombian armed forces, in coordination with other government entities, have prepared the logistics for handling any kind of risky situation for the civilian population. We have to help," he said.