July 23, 2018

Venezuela rejects Trump talk of military option

13 August 2017, 11:04 | Devin Moran

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Jason Marczak, Latin America director at the Atlantic Council, said the regional action took place notably without the presence of the United States.

President Trump said he has not ruled out military action in Venezuela, whose socialist leader Nicholás Maduro has been denounced by the United States as a dictator.

Their efforts could be undermined if Maduro expands his crackdown on dissent, arguing as he has in the past that their tactics are a prelude to a USA -backed coup. It also contradicted high-level administration officials, including Trump's own national security adviser, who had warned that any perception of US intervention would stir decades' old resentments and play into Maduro's hands.

In another of her messages in Twitter, former Foreign Minister of Venezuela emphasized that the ANC will act to accompany head of State in the defense of our beloved Venezuela'. "He provided substance for Maduro's heretofore implausible conspiracy theories", said David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin American, a human rights think-tank. Suspicion and resentment linger in many corners of the region, a reflection of years past when USA troops did in fact invade parts of Latin America to oust leftist leaders or collect unpaid debts.

The opposition fears the assembly will remove any checks that remain on the president's powers and critics globally have condemned it as an affront to democracy.

"What Trump said somehow opens up all the options that have been assessed by Washington regarding Venezuela", Suarez said.

Trump did not specify what type of options he had in mind.

According to a statement by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders late Friday night, Maduro called and requested a call with Trump on Friday, but the White House refused.

Mercosur has also been critical of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's creation of an all-powerful special assembly.

"I am certain that we will all be in the first ranks defending the interests and sovereignty of our beloved Venezuela", he said. "Venezuela's government has routinely used the specter of US aggression as a justification for actions that violate democratic principles, and this remark will only reinforce their ant-imperialist rhetoric".

A week ago, Trump's top national security adviser H. R. McMaster said in a TV show that he did not see a military intervention from any outside source as likely.

"Well, you know, there's a long history in the region of American intervention and that's caused problems in the past", he said.

"We want to express gratitude for all the expressions ofsolidarity and rejection of the use of force from governments around the world, including Latin America", said Arreaza, in a short speech on Saturday.

But a spokesman for Pence insisted there was no daylight between him and the president. Maduro to consolidate power in the country.

Venezuela has been rocked by street protests over the move. His schedule includes stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City.

"The U.S. vice president specifically visits four of the governments that have been very active throughout this operation of aggression and pressure against Venezuela", said Suarez.

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