Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pentagon Denies Receiving Orders on Military Action Against Venezuela

Pentagon Denies Receiving Orders on Military Action Against Venezuela

"We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away", Mr. Trump said.

President Donald Trump's administration is continuing to weigh possible sanctions against more senior figures, including Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino and Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, and they could be included in future sanctions packages if Maduro does not change course, the US officials told Reuters.

The U.S. government, which backs the opposition coalition, condemned the election for the ANC, claiming it "undermines the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination".

Meanwhile, Trump did not directly answer a question about whether the US troops would lead the potential operation.

The new United States sanctions targeted politicians and security figures but stopped short of actions against Venezuela's vital oil industry. Suspicion and resentment linger in many corners of the region, a reflection of years past when USA troops did in fact invade parts of Latin America to oust leftist leaders or collect unpaid debts. Opposition leaders called instead for an early presidential election, which Maduro would likely lose as his popularity gets pummeled by the country's economic woes.

"The drop in oil prices is used as a tool of political attack", she said, accusing the U.S. of being behind an "economic war" to oust President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has also directed his barbs at Trump, describing him as a crass imperial magnate and accusing him of backing a failed attack on a military base.

The sanctions marked a further escalation of the USA response to Maduro's establishment last week of the new constituent assembly, an all-powerful body run by his Socialist Party loyalists and which has drawn global condemnation. "Today the countries that on Tuesday signed on to a strong statement criticizing Maduro's authoritarian direction are spending their time criticizing Trump's statements", Smilde said. Instead he may now be forced to do damage control, said Christopher Sabatini, executive director of Global Americans, a website focused on USA policy in the region.

"We want to express gratitude for all the expressions ofsolidarity and rejection of the use of force from governments around the world, including Latin America", said Arreaza, in a short speech on Saturday. Maduro himself and on Friday refused to take a call Mr.

Pence arrives in Colombia on Sunday to begin his Latin America tour, during which discussions on how to deal with Venezuela were expected to feature prominently.

His remarks came amid growing tensions between Washington and Caracas over Venezuela's controversial Constituent National Assembly (ANC) formed after an election late last month. The moves have sparked violent protests. He joined four other opposition mayors given similar sentences. His schedule includes stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City. "President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country".

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