Trump says he won't 'rule out a military option' in Venezuela


The Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it condemns "military measures and the use of force", and that all efforts to resolve Venezuela's crisis should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

US President Donald Trump has threatened a military intervention in Venezuela, a surprise escalation in Washington's response to the country's political crisis. 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.

The Venezuelan opposition accuses Mr Maduro of trying to cling on to power, but he says the new assembly will bring peace to the country.

According to the White House, Trump today rejected a phone call from Maduro.

After US President Donald Trump refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, the South American country's defence minister has labelled his comment "an act of craziness".

The U.S. recently sanctioned Maduro and several top officials in Venezuela.

Maduro hasn't made the same kind of threats toward the USA or its allies like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has.

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"We don't talk about it, but a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue", Trump replied.

On Thursday, Maduro referenced Trump during an address to the Venezuelan constitutional assembly, inviting a dialogue with the American leader.

Despite expressing his desire for a strong relationship with the United States on Thursday, Maduro used substantial parts of his three-hour-plus speech lambasting the "imperialist" U.S. for perceived actions against his government.

Trump has looked to blame the volley of threats between the United States and North Korea on past administrations, arguing that tension with North Korea was thrust upon him.

The constituent assembly, which the USA as well as the European Union and many Latin American countries have said they will not recognize, immediately granted itself the power to overrule the National Assembly following its July 30 election. "The Pentagon has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela", Pahon said.

The trip was already sure to be dominated by discussion of Venezuela, with Pence expected to call on the leaders to continue to pressure the Maduro government and encourage others in the region to do the same.