Venezuela's Maduro urges direct talks with Trump

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

Trump said Friday that he had not ruled out possible military action in Venezuela in response to growing political and social turmoil in the country.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has offered his hand to Donald Trump while expressing interest in direct talks after a new wave of United States sanctions imposed on the troubled Latin American nation.

And he stressed that they were issued by Trump a day after the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ratified his willingness to have talks with his US counterpart, adding "The moment has come for the worldwide community to stop USA aggression against the Venezuelan people".

"This is our neighbor", Trump said in reference to Venezuela. Venezuela is not far away and people are suffering and dying. Asked about specifics, Trump said: "We don't talk about it but a military operation - a military option - is certainly something that we could pursue".

The reaction from Washington's staunchest ally in South America came a day before US Vice-president Mike Pence arrived in Colombia to begin a four-nation tour of the region. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you".

Critics say the body, stacked with Maduro supporters including his wife and son, is a blatant attempt by Maduro to seize further powers for himself.

When asked about military options following Trump's comments Friday, a USA official told ABC News that "the State Department still has the lead".

President Trump refused to take a phone call from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Friday, and said he will not speak with the socialist leader until "democracy is restored in that country".

He formerly accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of being a "dictator", for holding national elections to select the members of a Constituent Assembly, with power to rewrite the national constitution.

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

Caracas also expelled Peru's top envoy on Friday, hours after Lima announced it was giving Venezuelan Ambassador Diego Molero five days to leave Peru.

Between the new assembly and major food shortages, Maduro's government has sparked massive unrest in Venezuela. The administration has warned of new economic measures against the government, including a possible embargo on oil shipments from Venezuela, the United States' third largest foreign supplier of oil.

Following the sanction, United States firms and individuals have been prevented from conducting business with Maduro.

D'autres rapports CampDesrEcrues

Discuter de cet article