Regional Leaders Denounce Trump's Military Threat to Venezuela

Regional Leaders Denounce Trump's Military Threat to Venezuela

"Venezuela categorically rejects the unfriendly and warmongering declarations of Trump, who has threatened us with a military intervention, in violation of United Nations principles and worldwide law", said the foreign minister.

Mora stressed that the saying, "threats are often ineffective, and idle threats always are", applies in this case, because "unless the Maduro government took more drastic action against US interests, President Trump would have an impossible task in rallying support on Capitol Hill or among the American public for any substantial military move in Venezuela", and the global community would be even less cooperative.

"When you look at contingencies, when you look at what if - what if the suffering of the Venezuelan people increases by orders of magnitude - what more can we do with our partners in the region to protect the Venezuelan people and prevent an even greater humanitarian catastrophe?"

Trump said a military option was "certainly something that we could pursue". Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday" that Venezuela "could very much become a risk" to the USA if it descended into further chaos.

For many Latin American countries, bitter memories of past USA military adventures in the region have resurfaced as a result - including the 1989 invasion of Panama to topple and capture its leader, Manuel Noriega - as well as Central Intelligence Agency involvement in bloody guerrilla and counter-guerrilla campaigns, and Washington's propping up of military dictators.

"I have no idea why we would use military force in Venezuela".

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She highlighted the "moral and military...preparation" of the Venezuelan people and added that "diplomacy" was the right way to resolve conflicts. McMaster told ABC's "This Week".

US President Donald Trump's surprise comments last Friday may bring the beleaguered Mr Maduro some respite in the region, just as Venezuela was on the verge of becoming a pariah over its recent installation of a legislative superbody, widely condemned as a power grab by the ruling Socialists.

Trump's saber-rattling has instead boosted Maduro's claim that American aggression is behind all of Venezuela's problems and that opposition leaders are puppets of the US and has even made some of the dictator's strongest detractors criticize Trump. But the coalition's statement didn't directly mention Trump's remarks.

Pence's trip will also take him to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City, Panama, where he is expected to deliver a number of speeches, meet with the country's leaders and tour the newly expanded Panama Canal.

In Colombia, Pence was expected to highlight trade, business investment and other ties between the nations, including USA support for Bogota's efforts to implement its peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The U.S. will also likely be looking for assurances that Colombia is taking seriously the surging coca production in the country, which has been blamed partially on Santos' decision in 2015 to stop using crop-destroying herbicides.

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