Trump's Bluster Towards Maduro Boosted Venezuelan Dictator

Frederick Owens
August 14, 2017

After months of being Latin America's whipping boy, some of Venezuela's most ardent opponents reluctantly came to its defense Saturday, pushing back against President Donald Trump's threat to use military force against the socialist government in Caracas.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Saturday said that Trump's comments threatened peace and stability in his country.

"There is an extremist elite in the USA government", he added, "and I really don't know what is happening and what will happen in the world".

Communist Party of Spain: We condemn the threat of war aggression of Donald Trump to Venezuela.

Nicolás Maduro Guerra, the son of the Venezuelan President, is threatening to seize the White House with rifles if President Donald Trump sends the U.S. military to his nation.

Colombia, Peru and the Mercosur bloc of nations - three of Venezuela's biggest and perhaps most effective detractors in the region - were among those who issued statements denouncing Trump's bellicose rhetoric.

Trump appeared to complicate the discussions Friday with an unexpected statement that he would not rule out a "military option" in response to the Venezuelan government's attempt to consolidate power.

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It was one of Mr Maduro's fiercest critics, Peru, that led the charge in criticising Mr Trump's threat, saying it was against United Nations principles.

"All foreign or domestic threats to resort to force undermine the goal of reinstating democratic governance in Venezuela, as well as the principles enshrined in the United Nations charter", said Peru's Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna.

Firing back at Trump's threat, Maduro's son - speaking as a newly elected assembly member - said rifles would "arrive and take the White House" if Venezuela was "tarnished" by U.S. military intervention.

Regional alliance Mercosur added it rejected the use of force against Venezuela, despite having indefinitely suspended the country last week amid global condemnation of Maduro's new, all-powerful legislative superbody.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit Colombia amid escalating tensions with neighboring Venezuela and North Korea.

Meantime, Pence has scheduled other stops in Argentina, Chile and Panama, giving speeches and meeting with leaders.

President Nicolas Maduro's socialist administration has been under siege at home and overseas after more than four months of anti-government protests in which 120 people died. "Will president Trump be the president a year from now in the US?'" Patricio Navia, a political analyst, said.

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