by WorldTribune Staff, February 4, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump on Feb. 3 said that he will not meet with Venezuelan socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and said that sending troops to the crisis-ridden country is “an option.”
In an interview with CBS News, Trump reiterated that military intervention was a possibility.
“Certainly, it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option,” Trump said.
Trump said that Maduro had requested a meeting months ago but “I’ve turned it down because we’re very far along in the process. So, I think the process is playing out – very, very big tremendous protests. If you talk about democracy, it’s really democracy in action.”
Maduro said on Feb. 3 that Venezuela’s armed forces and civilian militias are preparing for an invasion.
Canada and several Latin American nations are following Trump’s lead in recognizing Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela and calling on Maduro to hand over power to the opposition leader.
Trump spoke with Guaido on Jan. 31 to “congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency,” according to a White House statement.
Maduro still maintains the backing of Russia, China and Turkey.
On Feb. 3, Maduro went on Spanish television to denounce what he called foreign meddling.
“Nobody in the world can come and disavow our constitution and our institutions and try and impose ultimatums,” Maduro told broadcaster La Sexta, referring to attempts by Spain and other European Union countries to set a deadline for an early presidential election.
Maduro also claimed that Trump had ordered the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him. He said that he has no doubt that Trump “gave the order to Colombia to kill me” and that if something happens to him “Donald Trump will be responsible.”