Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

BBCI: Venezuela crisis: Latin Americans condemn Trump over 'military response'

BBCI: Venezuela crisis: Latin Americans condemn Trump over 'military response'

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he is not ruling out military action to settle the Venezuelan crisis, reports said.

Venezuela's foreign minister said Mr Trump's words had been hostile and disrespectful and risked destablising Latin America.

Trump remark comes less than 24 hours after dictator Nicolás Maduro announced he had ordered his foreign ministry to reach out to Washington for "in person" talks with the president, hoping to schedule them for September, when Maduro seeks to visit NY for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. And a Department of Defense spokesman said that "any insinuations by the Maduro regime that we are planning an invasion are baseless" - ignoring that it was Trump who had done the insinuating.

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He said: We have troops all over the world in places that are very far away. Earlier this week, Peru summoned top diplomats from the region to discuss Venezuela in Lima, Peru's capital, where 12 nations condemned the "rupture of democratic order" in Venezuela and said they would not recognize any action taken by the constituent assembly.

This has been widely derided as a power-grab by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. "Any insinuations by the Maduro regime that we are planning an invasion are baseless and are created to distract from his continued efforts to undermine the democratic process and institutions in Venezuela". In response, the Trump administration imposed a new round of sanctions.

Venezuela's government has been severely criticised by the worldwide community for creating a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), which will rewrite the Constitution.

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In a Friday night message on social network Twitter, he said, "The diplomatic corps is summoned to the foreign ministry for tomorrow, when it will release a communiqué addressing the imperial threat to Venezuela".

More than 120 people have been killed and thousands arrested in four months of unrest. "But the military option is certainly something we could pursue".

Trump has been critical of Maduro's decision to allow an all-powerful legislative body to crush the elected members of parliament who oppose him.

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Meanwhile, Trump did not directly answer a question about whether the USA troops would lead the potential operation.

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