Pence to begin Latin America tour as global crises grow

How press conferences could help Trump

How press conferences could help Trump

The statement drew immediate push-back, including from the Columbian Foreign Ministry, which condemned any "military measures and the use of force", and said that efforts to resolve Venezuela's breakdown in democracy should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

On Friday, Trump's said that his administration was considering many options, "including a possible military option if necessary" to fix the "dangerous mess" in Venezuela.

Venezuela's opposition has been resistant to even the hint of potential USA involvement in their ongoing internal crisis, warning that any U.S. comments would allow the government to try to present the opposition as in league with the United States, and would likely split Latin America's position, which at present is uniformly critical of the Venezuelan government's recent actions to increase the ruling party's power.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Saturday Venezuela rejected "hostile" threats and called on Latin America to unite against Washington.

The menace, however, also gave Maduro's regime an unexpected opportunity to substantiate its daily refrain that it is a victim of a Washington plot to grab control of its oil reserves, the biggest in the world.

Mr Trump did not specify what type of options he had in mind.

The president of Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly, the controversial body elected to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution amid the country's political crisis - fired off a series of tweets late Friday slamming Trump's remarks as "cowardly, insolent and vile threats", CNN reported.

Mexico and Colombia joined in with statements of their own.

Trump said a military option was "certainly something that we could pursue". "Venezuela is not very far away", he said.

The tour is dominated by the crisis in Venezuela and how USA "partners and friends" were looking to the "future" regarding that country, while others were stuck in the "past", a senior United States administration official said.

Pence has scheduled other stops in Argentina, Chile and Panama, giving speeches and meeting with leaders.

"I think Pence's problem is that he is going to come to Latin America and people are going to ask him, 'Are you speaking on behalf of President Trump, are you speaking on behalf of the U.S. government?" "The crisis in Venezuela can't be resolved through military actions, internally or externally", Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray wrote on Twitter.

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