The U.S. will not rule out a “military option” as it continues to ratchet up sanctions on Venezuela, President Donald Trump said Friday.
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club.
“We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away,” Trump said. “Venezuela is not very far away and people are suffering and dying.”
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The comments come as Washington has stepped up sanctions against Venezuelan officials in recent weeks and just a day after President Nicolás Maduro said he wanted to talk to Trump to overcome both nation’s differences.
Maduro often accuses the United States of plotting invasions and coup attempts. Until now, Washington has always denied it had any military intentions against Venezuela.
When Trump was asked if the military options might include U.S. troops on the ground, he demurred.
“We don’t talk about it,” he said. “But a military operation...is certainly something we could pursue.”
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