Unclear if military action would include other nations
President Donald Trump said late Friday there are many alternatives regarding Venezuela and he would not rule out a “military option".
Trump spoke at his golf course in New Jersey after meeting with his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
"This is our neighbor, you know, we’re all over the world, and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very, far away and the people are suffering and they’re dying,” Trump said.
Trump did not say, however, whether the military option would be a U.S.-led coalition nor did he answer a question about whether he wanted regime change there or in North Korea.
Following an unofficial referendum in Venezuela last month in which voters cast ballots on a Constituent Assembly that has the power to rewrite the Constitution and dissolve institution, Trump, a day later called President Nicolas Maduro “a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator’’ and threatened economic sanctions that were implemented shortly thereafter.
Venezuela has faced ongoing political and economic crises as low crude oil prices forced the government to cut back or eliminate its socialist programs.
The situation has fueled public anger and massive protests since April, that have left at least 120 people dead.
The opposition has run a vigorous campaign to remove Maduro from office with early elections.
In turn, Maduro has blamed the right-wing opposition, the U.S. and its regional allies for the country’s current condition.