Trump not ruling out military action to settle Venezuela crisis

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On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the press from Bedminster, NJ, standing alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

US President Donald Trump has threatened a military intervention in Venezuela, a surprise escalation in Washington's response to the country's political crisis.

Maduro said Thursday he had ordered his foreign minister to arrange a private meeting or a phone conversation with Trump. It's our neighbor. We have troops all over the world, in places that are very far away.

Asked what options were available for the U.S. in dealing with Venezuela, which has descended into civil unrest under the leadership of president Nicholás Maduro, Trump responded by explicitly not ruling out military force.

Venezuelan authorities have long said US officials were planning an invasion, and Maduro has accused Latin American countries critical of his government of being part of an "imperialist" conspiracy.

He also refused to take a call from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. "Any insinuations by the Maduro regime that we are planning an invasion are baseless and are created to distract from his continued efforts to undermine the democratic process and institutions in Venezuela".

The Trump administration has sanctioned more than 30 of Maduro's loyalists since April.

Trump Says "Military Option" Is Possible In Venezuela
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These comments came as Trump has been threatening a military response if North Korea continues provoking the U.S.

Senator Ben Sasse criticized Trump on Friday night for the president's remarks made earlier in the day in New Jersey.

The Trump administration has issued a series of sanctions against Maduro and more than two dozen current and former Venezuelan officials.

Venezuelans in late July elected to give the South American country's ruling party virtually unlimited powers, a move that many believe is aimed only at securing Maduro's increasingly authoritarian rule. The protests were sparked by President Maduro's decision to institute a new legislative assembly, usurping the powers of the country's Congress, which is controlled by the opposition.

Venezuelan leader expresses willingness to hold talks with the United States president on the heels of a new wave of sanctions.

The remarks come as Maduro has convened a constituent assembly, in an election widely denounced by global observers, to amend the country's constitution to cement his grip on power.

"Instead, Maduro chose the path of dictatorship", Trump added.

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