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Military option for Venezuela on the table

13 August 2017

Speaking to reporters at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, Mr Trump bemoaned the growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and declared that all options remain on the table, including potential military action.

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 statement on possible military intervention came after he had repeatedly threatened North Korea if it threatens the USA, its territories or its allies. The statement said: "Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country". It's our neighbor. We have troops all over the world, in places that are very far away. "But a military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue", he said.

Venezuela was already emerging as the great regional theme of the vice president on his trip and now he will see how the leaders of those four countries react to Trump's declarations, 28 years after the last United States military invasion of Latin America. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you". In a move deemed a strategic mistake by analysts, former President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a "national security threat" and issued sanctions against several officials.

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Trump declined to give more details about the possibility of US forces leading an operation in Venezuela.

In the same speech, however, Maduro called America an "imperialist government" attempting to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

When a reporter followed up to ask Trump if this "military option" would be United States led, the president responded: "We don't talk about it".

He also was asked how Americans should feel about the tensions.

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At the same time he called for dialogue with the United States.

Venezuela is in serious crisis, as the country's increasingly authoritarian ruler, Nicolas Maduro, consolidates power amid a crumbling economy, mass protests, and even the specter of a military coup.

Maduro says the assembly, which has the power to re-write Venezuela's constitution, is needed to bring peace and prosperity to the oil-rich but economically ailing country.

More news: Venezuelan opposition mum on Trump military talk

Military option for Venezuela on the table