Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Amid North Korea Threat, Trump Weighs Military Action In Venezuela

Amid North Korea Threat, Trump Weighs Military Action In Venezuela

Trump appeared to complicate the discussions Friday with an unexpected statement that he would not rule out a "military option" in response to the Venezuelan government's attempt to consolidate power.

He said they were particularly menacing given President Nicolas Maduro's renewed call this week for closer ties and request for a meeting with Trump at the U.N. General Assembly next month.

In a statement, Colombia's Foreign Ministry condemned "military measures and the use of force" and said all efforts to resolve Venezuela's crisis should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

Following an unofficial referendum in Venezuela last month in which voters cast ballots on a Constituent Assembly that has the power to rewrite the Constitution and dissolve institution, Trump, a day later called President Nicolas Maduro "a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator" and threatened economic sanctions that were implemented shortly thereafter.

But after Trump's comment - which U.S. military commanders said had not been followed by any orders to prepare any sort of operation - Pence was faced with unified rejection of forceful United States intervention.

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Venezuela's military, current and retired members of which control a third of the government, leapt on the threat to say it was the nation's only bulwark against "imperialist aggression".

In surprise comments on Friday, Trump asserted a "military option" could be considered, which Venezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino slammed as "an act of craziness".

Stability across Latin America is in jeopardy from President Donald Trump's "reckless threat" to consider military action against Venezuela, Caracas said, after its military vowed to stand up to the USA leader's "craziness".

More than 120 people have died in anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela since April.

"Mr. Trump, we would arrive and take the White House".

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Arreaza called Trump the "boss of the empire" and said his comments fit a pattern of aggression against Venezuelan sovereignty and violate worldwide law and the United Nations charter.

The leadership of the crisis-wracked nation - Latin America's biggest oil producer and an ally to Russian Federation and Cuba - suddenly found itself going from battling dissent, protests and growing worldwide isolation to contemplating the sort of USA military action last seen in the region in 1989, when American troops invaded Panama to topple its president, Manuel Noriega.

While Trump raised the specter of military intervention, his top national security aides have downplayed that possibility.

"All of these countries have demonstrated their clear support for democracy, rejecting the dictatorship of [President Nicolas] Maduro's regime", the official said. Venezuela's government responded by accusing Trump of seeking to destabilize Latin America.

The top USA diplomat in Venezuela has arrived to hear what is likely to be a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump's talk of a possible "military option" to resolve the country's political crisis.

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