Donald Trump: Sending US troops to Venezuela ‘an option’

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President Donald Trump has said deploying the US military to Venezuela is “an option”.

“Well, I don’t want to say that. But certainly, it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option,” Trump said on CBS’s Face the Nation programme on Sunday when asked if he would use the American forces during Venezuela’s crisis. 

The US recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president on January 23, and is leading an international campaign to drive Nicolas Maduro from office.

Trump also said Maduro requested a meeting with him “a number of months ago” but he declined it.

“I decided at the time ‘no’ because so many really horrible things have been happening in Venezuela,” he said, citing the “poverty, anguish, and crime” in a country that was once one of the wealthiest in Latin America.

Trump again praised Guaido describing him as “a young and energetic gentleman”. 

“If you talk about democracy – it’s really democracy in action… I think the process is playing out – very, very big tremendous protests.”

Four major European nations – Britain, France, Germany and Spain – said they will recognise Guaido unless Maduro calls new presidential elections by midnight on Sunday.

Trump has repeatedly warned “all options are on the table” in Venezuela, as his administration ramps up pressure on Maduro through economic sanctions and appeals to the country’s armed forces to switch allegiances.

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