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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Maduro Warns Venezuela Army over Trump’s Military Option


President Nicolas Maduro has urged his armed forces to be on guard following news reports in the United States that a year ago President Donald Trump suggested the US invade the troubled country.

"You cannot lower you guard for even a second, because we will defend the greatest right our homeland has had in all of its history," Maduro said at a military ceremony on Wednesday, "which is to live in peace."
He alluded to reports in the US press which said that last August Trump asked foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela, which the Trump administration has derided as a corrupt, leftwing dictatorship.
Trump raised the idea in August 2017 during a meeting about sanctions the United States has imposed on oil rich Venezuela, CNN said, quoting a senior administration official.
Trump's advisers said no, as did Latin American leaders with whom Trump also raised the idea, CNN said.
The White House declined to comment on the private conversations. But a National Security Council spokesman reiterated that the US will consider all options at its disposal to help restore Venezuela's democracy and bring stability.
Maduro said the reports back up his assertion that the United States is planning a military attack against Venezuela to seize its vast oil reserves.
Maduro said Trump's question to his advisers came after Venezuelan opposition figures visited the White House.
"Is this a coincidence? No, it is not a coincidence," Maduro said.
Last month, US Vice President Mike Pence urged Latin American countries during a regional tour to help isolate Venezuela.
The United Nations has estimated that close to 1 million Venezuelans left their country from 2015 to 2017, driven by hunger, joblessness and the rising incidence of preventable disease.

Maduro has said the country's situation is the result of an "economic war" being waged against it by opposition politicians with the help of Washington.  
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