Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion

Trump 'pressed aides about Venezuela invasion' - ITV News

Trump 'pressed aides about Venezuela invasion' - ITV News

Venezuela is suffering from a rapidly deteriorating economy, and weakening law and order.

But Trump pushed back.

Sources told the AP that Trump's aides told him an invasion was a awful idea but that Trump persisted and even floated the idea with nearby countries.

Trump's bullish rhetoric is likely going to bolster Maduro's standing at home.

Leaving aside the obvious logistical difficulties of invading a country with roughly the same population levels as, for example, Iraq, Trump's rhetoric plays straight into Maduro's hands: The Venezuelan leader has consistently claimed that the protests which Venezuela has seen in wake of his sham election victory in May are part of a USA -backed plot to oust him and seize Venezuela's oil.

President Donald Trump asked top aides during an Oval Office meeting if the United States could invade Venezuela - a country in the midst of a political and economic crisis - a senior administration official told the Associated Press. At the end of the talks, Trump shocked aides and senior administration officials by bluntly asking why can't the USA just invade the country.

His national security chief, HR McMaster, and secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, are said to have been shocked by his suggestion, according to reports.

The AP said they then spent five minutes taking turns to warn Trump how military action could backfire and lose him support among other Latin American governments.

The President is said to have put the idea to Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, who also dismissed it. Trump then went around asking each leader if they were sure they didn't want a military solution, according to the official, who added that each leader told Trump in clear terms they were sure. The US has also distributed more than $30 million to help Venezuela's neighbors absorb an influx of more than 1 million migrants who have fled the country.

Trump didn't let up and he spoke about military options to remove Maduro the next day then followed it up by raising the issue with Colombia's President.

Under Mr Trump's leadership, the US, Canada and the European Union have levied sanctions on dozens of senior Venezuelan officials, including Mr Maduro himself, over allegations of corruption, drug trafficking and human rights abuses.

Trump brought up the subject of an invasion in public in August a year ago, saying: "We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary".

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