"Military force must be the last option, not the first".
President Nicolas Maduro's new constituent assembly - which can rewrite the constitution and could override the opposition-controlled parliament - has been widely criticised as anti-democratic.
In a controversial election boycotted by the Opposition, a new constituent assembly was elected to draw up a new constitution that has the potential to fundamentally change the rules in favor of Maduro.
Amid a cloud of tear gas, an anti-government protester covers himself with a shield that reads in Spanish "Freedom", from jet of water shot from water cannon, during clashes with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Trump said Friday that a military option against Venezuela was on the table, describing the situation there as a "dangerous mess".
NCP, Congress rift may be temporary
The Gujarat outcome is definitely not an indicator of which way the Assembly polls would swing later this year. Do you think Rajya Sabha election was more about your survival than the Congress winning? Absolutely not.
Bolivian president Evo Morales, soon after addressing a massive gathering of his country's armed forces in a national ceremony where he urged them to stand ready to protect regional sovereignty, used Twitter to warn against US aggression in all its forms - be they economic through sanctions, obfuscated by operating through junior partners like Peru or of a direct military character. After his trip to Colombia, Pence will travel to Argentina, Chile and Panama, representing the highest level tour of the Trump administration to the region.
USA officials previewing the trip before Trump's remarks said Venezuela is expected to feature prominently in Pence's discussions with leaders. Instead Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship. The sanctions include the freezing of assets and a ban from entering the US.
Maduro has long accused Washington of having military designs on Venezuela and specifically its vast oil reserves, the world's largest.
Venezuela is facing its worst political crisis in decades.
The top USA diplomat in Venezuela has arrived to hear what is likely to be a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump's talk of a possible "military option" to resolve the country's political crisis. He did not make any comments.
Not even the frustration over Trump's decision to partially roll back Obama's opening to Cuba - a diplomatic thaw that was applauded across the region's political spectrum - or his constant talk of building a border wall to keep out immigrants got in the way of presenting a united front toward Maduro. The two have not had ambassadors in each other's capitals since 2010. McClenny has been serving as charge d'affaires in Caracas since 2014.