Trump slams Venezuela at UN; Maduro calls him 'Hitler'

Frederick Owens
September 20, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and several Latin American leaders will discuss over dinner on Monday how to bring pressure to bear on the Venezuelan government to restore democracy in the oil-producing nation, officials said. "Venezuelan people are starving".

The United States, which has applied financial sanctions against Venezuela, is prepared to take additional steps if the Socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro continues on a path to authoritarian rule, he said.

The Venezuelan News Agency (AVN) branded the aggressive statements by the head of the U.S. administration against Iran, Syria, Venezuela and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as demagogic, 'full of commonplaces and with a clear inversion of values'.

"We have told Trump that military intervention is not on the agenda for any Latin American country", Santos told Bloomberg.

According to the Brazilian president, although no decision was taken during the dinner, Latin American leaders are concerned with the increasing problem of Venezuelan refugees.

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Arreaza instead will represent Venezuela and is to address the global body Thursday. Venezuelans began staging massive street protests to demand regional and presidential elections, the release of political prisoners and access to humanitarian aid.

More recently, a constitutional assembly wholly made up of government loyalists has been installed and proceeded to go after Maduro's political opponents.

"Their democratic institutions are being destroyed", he said. Maduro didn't attend the meeting, but Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who was there in his place, condemned Trump's statement.

Washington has already slapped sanctions the crisis-stricken country and Trump warned on August 11 that the United States was mulling a range of options against Venezuela, "including a possible military option if necessary". "We have more than 30,000 (Venezuelan) refugees in Brazil, thousands of refugees in Colombia and some in Panama, "he said".

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