Members of security forces stand guard outside the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, May 7, 2019.
Members of security forces stand guard outside the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, May 7, 2019.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress plans to discuss a proposal for Venezuela's return to a regional defense agreement that dates from the Cold War.

Tuesday's debate comes as U.S. officials say they are considering military "options" in the Venezuelan crisis in addition to diplomatic and economic pressure that has been intensifying for months.

The United States recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, and says President Nicolas Maduro should resign.

Guaido leads the National Assembly, which could provide political cover for deeper international involvement in the effort to oust Maduro by approving re-entry into the U.S.-led defense treaty. Venezuela pulled out of the treaty years ago.

Maduro has denounced the Guaido-led assembly, instead recognizing a rival assembly packed with government loyalists that was set up in 2017.