“Venezuela cannot be threatened… [it] is the country of peace, integrity and history,” Maduro said as quoted by the Venezuela Mundial news portal, calling Trump’s statements “vulgar” and “disproportionate.”
The US President has announced that Washington could take military action against Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro’s power grab.
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
The President did not answer a question about whether American troops would lead a potential operation, while he added that “we don’t talk about it. But a military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue.”
The opposition coalition in Venezuela also rejected “the military threat by any foreign power,” days after US President Donald Trump announced that he was considering such an option against the crisis-hit South American nation.
The coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, did not mention US President’s name, but its message was clear.
It said in a statement that it rejects “the use of force, or the threat of applying such force, by whatever country against Venezuela.”
“The only path to peace is the restoration of democracy. Venezuelans demand free elections be held at all levels,” the opposition coalition statement added.
Several Latin American nations came out strongly against US President Donald Trump’s threat of military intervention to solve the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela.
South American trade bloc Mercosur rejects the use of force in Venezuela, a day after US President Donald Trump threatened military intervention.
In a statement, the South American trade bloc Mercosur rejected US President’s suggestion that a “military option” was possible to solve the ongoing domestic political crisis in Venezuela, saying that, “The only acceptable means of promoting democracy are dialog and diplomacy.”
The bloc, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, added that “the repudiation of violence and any option that implies the use of force is inalienable and constitutes the fundamental basis for democratic coexistence.”
Other South American countries, such as Peru, Mexico, and Colombia, also joined the chorus of Latin American unity against the US with statements of their own, criticizing Washington’s threat of military action against Caracas as a move against the United Nations’ principles.
Venezuela’s Defense Minister denounced Trump’s “crazy” threat of military action amid escalating bilateral tensions over what Caracas views as Washington’s meddling in the Latin American country’s political crisis.
“This is an act of craziness, an act of supreme extremism,” General Vladimir Padrino said in an interview with the state television on Friday.
“As a soldier, together with the FANB (Venezuela’s armed forces) and together with the people, I am certain that we will all be in the first ranks defending the interests and sovereignty of our beloved Venezuela,” the defense chief added.
“There is an extremist elite governing the United States and honestly I don’t know what’s happening, what is going to happen in the world,” Padrino stressed.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said threats of a military operation against Venezuela are an attempt by US President to drag Latin America into a conflict and destabilize the continent.
“Venezuela rejects in the most categorical and convincing manner the unfriendly and hostile statements by US President Donald Trump… in which he threatens a military invasion against our homeland,” Arreaza told broadcaster Venezuelana de Televisión.
According to the minister, Trump’s real aim is not Venezuela, but the whole Latin American continent, which he wants to see in turmoil.
“The reckless threats of President Donald Trump are designed to draw Latin America and the Caribbean into a conflict that will irrevocably violate stability, peace and security in our region,” he added.
Arreaza had also rejected the threat as “hostile,” and called on Latin America to unite against Washington.
“The reckless threat by President Trump aims to drag Latin America and the Caribbean into a conflict that would permanently alter stability, peace, and security in our region,” he stressed.
Venezuela has been reeling from unrest for several months in a crisis caused by political disagreements — including on the formation of the National Constituent Assembly — and shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation.
Political tensions in Venezuela rose recently after Caracas announced plans to establish a Constituent Assembly to take over the opposition-controlled parliament and rewrite the constitution. The opposition saw the move as an overt attempt by President Maduro to accumulate power.
The Venezuelan government held an election on July 30 and the ruling socialist party won the vote. The political tensions there have seen a rise after Venezuelan people said ‘Yes’ in an election last week to the formation of a national assembly tasked with dissolving the opposition-led congress and rewrite the constitution, while the vote was boycotted by the opposition.
Protests erupted on the streets, and clashes led to the death of at least 120 people from the two sides.
The day after election, the US slapped sanctions on Maduro and broadened the sanctions later this week by imposing bans against several members of the assembly. The United States imposed sanctions against 13 current and former Venezuelan officials after doing the same to the country’s vice president in February. The US Treasury Department later froze Maduro’s US assets and called him a “dictator” for pushing ahead with the election.