Venezuelan leader wants meeting with Trump


U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of military intervention in Venezuela was "an act of craziness", the country's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters Friday at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, Trump bemoaned Venezuela's growing humanitarian crisis and declared that all options remain on the table - including a potential military intervention.

After several days of increasingly charged rhetoric with North Korea, President Trump turned his attention to another country - Venezuela.

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.

The security arrangements scheduled to receive US Vice President Mike Pence in the Colombian Caribbean resort of Cartagena de Indias, will be as much deep as those for Heads of State and Government.

The 545-member assembly, which has the rights to amend the constitution and reorganize the government, "aims to fix the malfunction" plaguing the country's governing system, according to Delcy Rodriguez, the recently elected president of the new legislative body.

Demonstrations have been taking place since April and have turned increasingly violent with more than 120 people killed.

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Argentinean worldwide law expert Paola de Simons told Xinhua that Trump was sending out "a warning, (as a) foreign threat, which belongs to what were decades ago".

When Trump was asked if the military options might include US troops on the ground, he demurred. "Maduro will grab on to threat from Trump".

"The time has come for worldwide organizations and multilateral forums in the region and in the world to reaffirm the validity of the norms of global law and to curb the most aggressive action of the United States empire against the Venezuelan people in more than a hundred years". "I don't think any decent person would blame him for considering options for putting an end to the people's suffering by putting an end to Maduro".

One can only imagine how disappointed the younger Maduro will be to arrive in NY only to discover that the White House is actually more than 220 miles away to the southwest.

Just last week, the foreign ministers of 17 Western Hemisphere nations met in Peru, where they issued a rare joint statement condemning Venezuela's new constitutional assembly and declaring that their governments would refuse to recognize the body.

The White House said Maduro requested a phone call with Trump on Friday, which the administration appeared to spurn, saying in a statement that Trump would gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela once democracy was restored.

The South American nation is also embroiled in an economic crisis that has led many to leave the country in search of easier access to food and medicine.