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Venezuelans slam Trump

Published: 
Sunday, August 13, 2017

CARACAS—Venezuela’s government energetically rejected US President Donald Trump’s talk of a potential “military option” to resolve the country’s political crisis yesterday, calling it the most egregious act of belligerence against Venezuela in a century and a threat to stability in the region.

The stinging rebuke came in a statement read by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in a meeting with foreign diplomats, including Lee McClenny, the top diplomat at the US Embassy in Caracas.

Calling Trump the “boss of the empire,” Arreaza said Trump’s latest comments fit a pattern of aggression against Venezuelan sovereignty and constitute a violation of international law and the UN charter. He said they were particularly menacing given President Nicolas Maduro’s renewed call this week for closer ties and request for a meeting with Trump at the UN General Assembly next month.

The White House responded to that request by saying Trump would “gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country.”

Speaking to reporters Friday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump bemoaned the South American nation’s growing humanitarian crisis and declared that all options remain on the table—including a potential military intervention.

In a statement, Colombia’s Foreign Ministry also condemned “military measures and the use of force” and said all efforts to resolve Venezuela’s crisis should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

The Trump administration has slapped a series of sanctions against Maduro and more than two-dozen current and former officials in response to a crackdown on opposition leaders and the recent election. (AP)

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