Trump refused phone call with Venezuelan president

Trump refused phone call with Venezuelan president

Trump refused phone call with Venezuelan president

After months of attacking Venezuela's unpopular President Nicolas Maduro, Latin America came out strongly against US threats of military action against the struggling OPEC nation.

The Pentagon reportedly hasn't yet received any military orders from the Trump administration on Venezuela. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering.

The United States has joined Mexico, Colombia and Panama in saying that they would not recognize the voting results. The United Nation's' human rights office said earlier this month that Venezuelan security forces have used excessive force and arbitrarily detained thousands of people.

North Korea should be "very, very nervous" if it does anything to the US, Trump told reporters, according to Reuters, adding that he thinks China can and will do a lot more to resolve the crisis. Villegas, speaking on state television afterward, called it "unprecedented".

The "diplomatic corps is summoned to the foreign ministry for [Saturday], when it will release a communique addressing the imperial threat to Venezuela".

On July 31, the United States imposed direct sanctions on the Venezuelan president, terming Maduro a "dictator".

From New Jersey Friday, Trump would not comment on the possibility of a "regime change" in the country when it was raised during a question that also asked about the ongoing tensions between the USA and North Korea.

U.S. Treasury sanctions now ban Maduro from entering the United States.

US President Donald Trump has said he is not ruling out a military option in dealing with the crisis in Venezuela.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized Trump's military stance.

The bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay says in a statement Saturday that "the only acceptable means of promoting democracy are dialogue and diplomacy". On Thursday, Maduro announced that the new Constituent Assembly would wield supreme power over all branches of government, even over his position.

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 US military, however, has not been instructed to provide that option.

Trump's more aggressive discourse could be an asset to Maduro by boosting his credibility as a national defender.

Venezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said President Trump's suggestion was "an act of craziness".

"Frankly, it is irresponsible on his part", Andrea Saldarriaga Jiménez, Assistant Director at the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center in Washington, said of Trump's statements in a phone interview. The sanctions were imposed due to last month's Constituent Assembly elections in Venezuela, which the U.S. called "illegitimate".

The assembly's election drew global condemnation and critics have said it removed any remaining checks on Maduro's power.

"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".