0 Shares 200 Views

Donald Trump Threatens Venezuela With ‘Military Option’

Aug 12, 2017
0 201

Donald Trump threatened military intervention in Venezuela on Friday, a surprise escalation in Washington‘s response to the country’s political crisis.

Venezuela has appeared to slide toward a more volatile stage of unrest in recent days, with anti-government forces looting weapons from a military base after a new legislative body usurped the authority of the opposition-controlled congress.

“The people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary,” Trump told reporters.

More than 120 people have been killed in Venezuela and thousands arrested in over four months of unrest.

The government in Caracas did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s threat.
Venezuelan authorities have long said U.S. officials were planning an invasion.

A former military general told Reuters earlier this year that some anti-aircraft missiles had been placed along the country’s coast for precisely that eventuality. 

In Washington, the Pentagon said the US military was ready to support efforts to protect US citizens and America’s national interests, but that insinuations by Caracas of a planned US invasion were “baseless.”

READ ALSO:   300,000 Say 'Non' to French President's First Lady Plan

Trump’s suggestion of possible military action came in a week when he has repeatedly threatened a military response if North Korea threatens the United States or its allies.

Asked if US forces would lead an operation in Venezuela, Trump declined to provide details.

“We don’t talk about it but a military operation – a military option – is certainly something that we could pursue,” he said.

”

“
The president’s comments conjured up memories of gunboat diplomacy in Latin America during the 20th century, when the United States regarded its “backyard” neighbors to the south as underlings who it could easily intimidate through conspicuous displays of military power.

READ ALSO:   US student dies just days after being freed from North Korean prison

The US military has not directly intervened in the region since a 1994-1995 operation that aimed to remove from Haiti a military government installed after a 1991 coup.

Trump’s comments could be an asset to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by boosting his credibility as a national defender.
”

Maduro must be thrilled right now,” said Mark Feierstein, who was a senior aide on Venezuelamatters to former US president Barack Obama.

“It’s hard to imagine a more damaging thing for Trump to say.”
The United States sanctioned Maduro and other Venezuelan officials in July after Maduro established a constituent assembly run by his Socialist Party loyalists and cracked down on opposition figures,

READ ALSO:   Ludlum's citizenship oversight 'pretty remarkable', says Turnbull

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

Washington has not placed sanctions on the OPEC member’s oil industry, which supplies America with about 740,000 barrels per day of oil.

Venezuela possesses a stockpile of 5,000 Russian-made MANPADS surface-to-air weapons, according to military documents reviewed by Reuters.

It has the largest known cache of the weapons in Latin America, posing a concern for US officials during the country’s mounting turmoil.

The United Nations Security Council was briefed behind closed doors on Venezuela in May at the request of the United States.

At the time, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Washington was just trying to raise awareness of the situation and was not seeking any action by the 15-member Security Council.

You may be interested

Israel Folau has failed as a role model
Australia, Sports
0 shares1 views

Israel Folau has failed as a role model

Webby - Apr 18, 2018

By Katharine Gelber Posted April 18, 2018 13:02:09 Photo: Folau has failed to appreciate the special responsibilities he carries as a role model…

Watch moment married predator, 55, caught by paedophile hunters as he thought he was meeting schoolgirl for sex
UK Stories
0 shares1 views

Watch moment married predator, 55, caught by paedophile hunters as he thought he was meeting schoolgirl for sex

Webby - Apr 18, 2018

This is the moment a married businessman was caught by paedophile hunters as he thought he was meeting a schoolgirl for sex.Predatory Alan…

Derelict Panorama TAFE a mecca for vandalism as bulldozing nears
Australia
0 shares1 views

Derelict Panorama TAFE a mecca for vandalism as bulldozing nears

Webby - Apr 18, 2018

Posted April 18, 2018 12:54:32 Photo: There are very few windows left intact at the derelict site. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny) Audio: …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Most from this category