Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pentagon Denies Receiving Orders on Military Action Against Venezuela

Pentagon Denies Receiving Orders on Military Action Against Venezuela

The ban comes as the USA considers imposing economic sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing mounting worldwide criticism over a crackdown on opponents and moves to consolidate power.

The Trump administration has issued sanctions against Maduro, whom it calls a "dictator", and more than two-dozen former and current Venezuelan officials, asserting that human rights violations that undermine democracy have occurred during the country's recent political turmoil.

After months of attacking Venezuela's unpopular President Nicolas Maduro, Latin America came out strongly against USA threats of military action against the crisis-hit nation.

President Donald Trump's administration is continuing to weigh possible sanctions against more senior figures, including Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino and Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, and they could be included in future sanctions packages if Maduro does not change course, the USA officials told Reuters.

The authorities in Caracas were shocked by the U.S. President's comments, with Venezuela's Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino describing the threat of military intervention "an act of craziness". His schedule includes stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City.

Key to the populist rhetoric used by both is a constant drumbeat of warnings that the U.S.

The timing of Trump's remarks could not be worse, coming on the eve of a four-nation Latin America trip by Vice President Mike Pence meant to showcase how Washington and regional partners can work together to promote democracy in the hemisphere.

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Regional alliance Mercosur added that it rejected the use of force against Venezuela, despite having indefinitely suspended the country last week amid worldwide condemnation of Maduro's new, all-powerful "constituent Assembly". Maduro's hand as he cracks down on dissent and blames Washington for his country's economic and domestic strife. Opposition leaders called instead for an early presidential election, which Maduro would likely lose as his popularity gets pummeled by the country's economic woes.

The new legislative superbody, which made waves last weekend by firing a dissident chief prosecutor, took new action on Saturday on the country's election timetable.

More than 120 have been killed in unrest since April, as the economy collapses deeper into a recession compounded by triple-digit inflation as well as food and medicine shortages.

Maduro has long accused Washington of having military designs on Venezuela and specifically its vast oil reserves, the world's largest.

Trump's statement on possible military intervention came after he had repeatedly threatened North Korea if it threatens the us, its territories or its allies.

"For years he's been saying the preparing an invasion, and everyone laughed. "Military Options" in Latam and the Caribbean".

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