March 21 2018

Trump Threatens Intervention in Venezuela: I 'Wouldn't Rule Out a Military Option'

March 21 2018, 12:33 | Jodi Jackson

A woman walks past graffiti in Caracas

A woman walks past graffiti in Caracas

The crisis in Venezuela could prompt a U.S. military response, President Donald Trump has told reporters. This is our neighbor ... we're all over the world, and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away.

During a press conference outside his Bedminster resort on Friday evening, President Donald Trump suggested the United States was weighing military options in response to ongoing turmoil in Venezuela.

In recent week, Trump's administration issued several rounds of sanctions against Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro, whom it calls a "dictator", and more than two dozen other former and current officials.

Trump made the remarks in response to questions from reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The U.S. military has not directly intervened in the region since a 1994-1995 operation that aimed to remove from Haiti a military government installed after a 1991 coup. He has been on a working vacation while the White House undergoes a renovation.

In response, Venezuela's Defence Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino called Trump's talk of a military intervention an act of "craziness" and "supreme extremism", The Washington Post reported.

Venezuela sent a note of protest regarding the Lima Declaration that Peru dismissed because it contained "unacceptable terms" that the foreign ministry did not specify.

Later Friday, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said the Defense Department has not been ordered to make any military movements related to Venezuela - but is prepared for that if need be.

Trump's threat appeared to contradict the advice of his top national security adviser, General Herbert Raymond McMaster, who last week warned against giving Maduro ammunition to blame the "Yankees" for the situation in Venezuela.

United Nations official Idriss Jazairy is calling on world powers, especially the United States, to avoid applying sanctions against Venezuela unless approved by the U.N. Security Council.

The Venezuelan government had previously responded to the sanctions - which already targeted Maduro himself - by saying the U.S. was "making a fool of itself in front of the world".

Earlier in the day, Delcy Rodriguez, a former foreign affairs minister elected president of the ANC, said the assembly "aims to fix the malfunction" plaguing the country's governing system. With the president increasingly concerned about Mueller's sniffing around, Trump may as well double down.

Any transactions with the government of Venezuela or any of the South American country's state agencies will in future require prior permission from the bank, according to an internal Credit Suisse memorandum seen by "Reuters" on Thursday. "Maduro. Sorry", Kuczynski said.

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro says he wants a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump " the same man he routinely ridicules as a crass imperial magnate.

"Venezuela is a mess". "It is a very unsafe mess and a very sad situation".

The crisis has fueled the street demonstrations that have gripped Venezuela for the past four months.

It is a possible sign that the government is looking to negotiate a deal with the opposition, although many question if the constitutional assembly, which has a free hand to upend institutions, will even allow elections that were originally slated to take place past year will be allowed to go forward.

From New Jersey Friday, Trump would not comment on the possibility of a "regime change" in the country when it was raised during a question that also asked about the ongoing tensions between the US and North Korea.

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