News ID: 238391
Published: 0519 GMT February 03, 2019

Trump says military action in Venezuela ‘an option’

Trump says military action in Venezuela ‘an option’

US President Donald Trump says sending military forces to Venezuela is “an option,” amid attempts by the US-backed opposition in the Latin American country to topple the democratically-elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

“Certainly, it’s something that’s on the - it’s an option,” Trump said in an interview with CBS to be broadcast on Sunday.

The American head of state claimed he had turned down Maduro’s request for meeting months ago, when Venezuela was the scene of protests over economic and political issues.

“I’ve turned it down, because we’re very far along in the process,” he said in excerpts from the interview, adding, “So, I think the process is playing out - very, very big tremendous protests.”

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have thronged the streets of Venezuela, holding rallies in support and against Maduro, who began his second six-year term in office last month, Presstv reported.

The clashes began after Juan Guaido, the opposition leader in the country’s National Assembly, proclaimed himself as the “interim president” and urged Maduro to resign.

The US rushed to support Guaido, announcing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.

Russia: Help Venezuela, do not meddle

Meanwhile, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Sunday that the international community must concentrate its efforts on helping to solve Venezuela's economic and social problems while refraining from any "destructive" interference.

"The international community's goal should be to help (Venezuela solve its socio-economic problems), without destructive meddling from beyond its borders," Alexander Shchetinin, head of the Foreign Ministry's Latin American Department, was cited by Interfax as saying.

'No time for dialogue'

US Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on Washington’s support for Guaido on Saturday, saying the Trump administration will forgo "dialogue" and consider "all options" to help him against Maduro.

“The United States will continue to assert all diplomatic pressure to bring about a peaceful transition to democracy, but those looking on should know this: All options are on the table,” Pence told a crowd of Venezuelans in the state of Florida on Friday.

Trump’s remarks about possible intervention in Venezuela come after John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, played down speculations about military action in support of Guaido.

Reiterating that all options were on the table, Bolton told reporters on Friday that an intervention was not imminent and Washington looked forward to a peaceful transition of power.

Bolton has been linked with the possible deployment of around 5,000 US troops to Colombia amid the ongoing unrest in the neighboring Venezuela. He was photographed earlier this week holding confidential notes that pointed to such plans.

Colombia, however, says it is unaware of an upcoming deployment and doesn’t know the “importance and reason” for Bolton’s note.

Back in fall, the US Navy sent its hospital ship USNS Comfort to the Colombian port of Riohacha on a declared mission to treat Venezuelan migrants. The ship has since returned to its base.

   
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Resource: presstv
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