Trump threatens Venezuela with 'military option' as country's political crisis escalates

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

On Friday, US President #Donald Trump threatened that his country could intervene militarily in Venezuela, in an unexpected escalation of the United State's response to the political climate in Caracas.

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. We have troops all over the world, in places that are very, very far away.

"We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I'm not going to rule out a military option", Trump said.

His remarks are the first by a high-level Venezuelan official and come ahead of an expected statement by Maduro's government.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, issued a statement saying they had not received any new orders regarding Venezuela.

The US has slapped a string of sanctions on Venezuelan individuals involved in the creation of the ANC, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Senator Sasse, a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, said that Congress does not plan to authorize a US-led war in Venezuela.

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Despite the heavy rhetoric, Trump declined to say if he wanted a regime change in either country.

The second-largest Swiss bank has forbidden staff from trading in certain Venezuelan securities.

Imposing sanctions on Venezuela is not the answer to resolving the growing crisis in the country, Idriss Jazairy, U.N. Special Rapporteur said in Geneva on Friday. "Here I am", he reportedly said during a speech at the constituent assembly, a new body that was elected amid worldwide condemnation and allegations of electoral fraud late last month.

President Trump, in the midst of a week of high tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program, on Friday introduced the possibility of another military confrontation - with Venezuela - surprising most observers.

The remarks come as Maduro has convened a constituent assembly, in an election widely denounced by worldwide observers, to amend the country's constitution to cement his grip on power.

At least 120 people have been killed in violent demonstrations over the past few months.

Other reports by GizPress

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