The option of sending the US military to Venezuela is on the table, while talking to President Nicolas Maduro is not, President Donald Trump said in an interview on Sunday.
While talking to CBS’ Face the Nation, Trump would not expand on the prospects of military involvement in the crisis in the Latin America country besides replying that “it’s an option.”
He also confirmed that he refused to talk to President Maduro when he suggested a meeting a few months ago. According to Trump, there is no point in talking to Venezuela’s elected president because “we’re very far along in the process” and there are “horrible things happening” in the country, such as “poverty,” “anguish,” and “crime.”
“You have a young and energetic gentleman but you have other people within that same group that have been very, very – if you talk about democracy – it’s really democracy in action,” Trump said.
Washington jumped in with its support of Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, who declared himself “interim president” almost two weeks ago. While US allies on the continent and in Europe have backed Guaido, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, and a number of other countries urged dialogue and little international involvement in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the political crisis in the country was caused by a “destructive external interference that grossly violates the most basic norms of the international law.”
Speculation about the US sending troops to deal with the situation in Venezuela peaked after US National Security Advisor John Bolton was photographed holding a yellow legal notebook during a press briefing that said “5,000 troops to Colombia.” The White House would not expand on the matter, while Bogota said it had no clue what it meant and that it would act only “politically and diplomatically” with its neighbor. US spy planes, however, were noticed flying over Colombia last week.