Maduro alerts Venezuela army over Trump 'invasion' plans

United States President Donald J. Trump participates in a meeting with the Prime Minster of The Netherlands Mark Rutte at The White House in Washington DC

United States President Donald J. Trump participates in a meeting with the Prime Minster of The Netherlands Mark Rutte at The White House in Washington DC

Despite his aides' warnings, Trump reportedly continued to talk of a "military option" to remove Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's president.

US President Donald Trump has allegedly contemplated a possibility of sending the American troops into Venezuela, according to AP.

The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser General H.R. McMaster, who have since left the administration. Although he gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, he pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s. From 1898 to 1994, the USA intervened - often via direct military action - in Latin America 41 times, including direct interventions in Cuba, Guatemala and Panama, and indirect support for dictators in Chile and El Salvador. "We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary".

Within days of the president's talk of a military option, Maduro filled the streets of Caracas with loyalists to condemn "Emperor" Trump's belligerence, ordered up nationwide military exercises and threatened with arrest opponents he said were plotting his overthrow with the U.S.

The idea of a military intervention floated by the United States leader was also explicitly rejected by the Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni Mamani.

The President is said to have put the idea to Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, who also dismissed it.

Shortly after the Bedminister remarks, he raised the issue with the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, and then brought it up again at that year's United Nations general assembly in September, at a private dinner with allied Latin American states.

He then went around the table to ask each leader whether they were certain they didn't want the U.S. to invade Venezuela, to which each leader said clearly that they were, the AP reported.

However, the USA president eventually failed to garner support for his plans both from the regional leaders and his own administration officials.

Trump's approach to war has been inconsistent.

The White House said it would not comment on the content of private conversations. But a National Security Council spokesman told the news agency that "all options" remain open to "help restore Venezuela's democracy and bring stability".

Washington might indeed have not entirely given up on an idea of an intervention, or at least a military coup in Venezuela.

As for the U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America, Venezuela has been a key focus for the Trump administration.

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