World News

Constituent Assembly Rejects US Threats against Venezuela

Constituent Assembly Rejects US Threats against Venezuela

The government of Colombia has rejected United States President Donald Trump's suggestion of a possible "military option" to resolve the deepening crisis in Venezuela.

The Venezuelan communications minister, Ernesto Villegas, in a television interview, called Mr. Trump's remark "an unprecedented threat to national sovereignty".

"We don't talk about it", said Trump after his meeting at the golf club with State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away.

"The threat reckless of the president, Donald Trump aims to lead Latin America and the Caribbean in a conflict that disrupts, permanently, the stability, the peace and security of our region", said the minister of foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza, read a communiqué in the name of socialist president Nicolas Maduro.

"The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime", she added.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino called it "an act of craziness", warning that in the event of USA aggression, the nation's military would lead the defense of "the interests and sovereignty of our beloved Venezuela".

Maduro hasn't made the same kind of threats toward the US or its allies like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has.

Trump's administration has slugged Maduro and his inner circle with a series of sanctions in response to the South American leader's power grab.

More news: Judge tosses DJ's claim against Swift
More news: Guam's residents concerned but have faith in USA military
More news: Solar Eclipse by the numbers

The remarks came shortly after Maduro forcefully warned the USA president that Venezuela "will never give in".

Ben Rhodes, a foreign policy advisor to former US President Barack Obama, said in a post on Twitter that Trump's threat was the "worst possible response" and would egg Maduro on.

The comments follow a 30 July vote in Venezuela that has allowed President Nicolas Maduro to replace the opposition-dominated National Assembly with a new Constituent Assembly.

Meanwhile, Venezuela is also being pressurised by Peru, who has criticised its new constituent assembly.

The sanctions came after Maduro held what many observers called an illegitimate election to hand unlimited power to Venezuela's ruling party.

Trump has been critical of Maduro's decision to allow an all-powerful legislative body to crush the elected members of parliament who oppose him.

The country is deep in a recession compounded by shortages of food and medicine, while anti-government protests have killed more than 120 people since April.

"If he's so interested in Venezuela, here I am", Maduro said.