Mercosur Condemns Trump's Comments On Venezuela

Mercosur Condemns Trump's Comments On Venezuela

On Friday, Trump blasted Venezuela's leader, President Nicolas Maduro, as a "dictator", saying that the crisis in the country could prompt a United States military response.

The assault on the military base coincided with a video circulated on social media in which Caguaripano called for a general uprising against unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Pence arrives in Colombia on Sunday to begin his Latin America tour, during which discussions on how to deal with Venezuela were expected to feature prominently.

The threat of military intervention would also seem to contradict the advice of Trump's top national security adviser.

"We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary", Trump told reporters in New Jersey. "You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away".

"The people are suffering and they are dying".

"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.

"Venezuela is a mess".

Ms. O'Neil said Mr. Trump's words might also help Mr.

In the July election of a legislative superbody packed with allies of unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro drew global condemnation for usurping the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress.

Venezuelan authorities have long said USA officials were planning an invasion.

"The Pentagon has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela", Eric Pahon said, as quoted by the CNN television channel.

Vice President Mike Pence kicks off a four-nation tour of Latin America on Sunday with a stop in Colombia, whose government - the staunchest USA ally in South America - was quick to distance itself from Trump's remarks even while reiterating its concerns about a breakdown of democracy in Venezuela. "If called upon, we are prepared to support... government efforts to protect our national interests".

Even more surprising, with the exception of close ideological allies such as Cuba and Bolivia, no country spoke out against Trump's decision to slap sanctions on more than 30 Venezuelan officials, including Maduro himself, despite past criticism of similar unilateral actions.

"There is an extremist elite in the U.S. government", he added, "and I really don't know what is happening and what will happen in the world". Worldwide criticism mounted after the July 30 election of a special assembly charged with rewriting Venezuela's constitution - a move seen as an attempt by Mr Maduro to cement his hold on power.

But the United States and major Latin American nations allege that Maduro is using the body as a tool to quash dissent, by clamping down on the opposition and the legislature it controls. The deepening political crisis and the threat of additional sanctions has worsened Venezuela's economic turmoil. Almost 130 people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

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