Trump says he's open to military intervention in Venezuela

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The U.S. has accused Maduro of a sweeping power grab following the creation of a new constitutional assembly, which has been granted the power to rewrite Venezuela's constitution, declared itself superior to all other government institutions, and ousted Venezuela's outspoken chief prosecutor.

US Vice President Pence arrives in Colombia as he undertakes a tour of Latin American countries.

"Venezuela is a mess", Trump said, adding.

Trump's statement about not to "rule out" a military option in Venezuela was a "violation" of United Nations and global laws, Xinhua quoted Arreaza as saying. In recent months, anti-government demonstrations have broken out daily as desperate citizens taken to the streets to protest the lack of even the most basic goods.

The Pentagon hasn't received any orders regarding Venezuela as of this point, a spokesman told McClatchy, referring all further questions to the White House.

Trump made the statement during a press conference on the growing concerns of military action in North Korea, immediately raising the specter of United States intervening in two conflicts simultaneously, including one in our own hemisphere.

"As a soldier, I stand with the Venezuelan armed forces, and with the people".

When asked about military options following Trump's comments Friday, a USA official told ABC News that "the State Department still has the lead". McMaster told ABC's "This Week".

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Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas called Trump's remark "an unprecedented threat to national sovereignty".

Former national guard Capt. Juan Caguaripano was captured in Caracas along with an active-duty soldier who allegedly collaborated with a small group of civilians and former officers that last Saturday raided a major military base in Valencia and walked off with a cache of weapons.

Arreaza closed by reiterating Maduro's interest to have a conversation with Trump. "However, I think there is only a remote possibility that this becomes a military aggression against Venezuela", said Villadiego, a professor at the University of Carabobo.

The president's comments will also complicate the calculus of Latin American leaders, many of whom had been speaking out against Maduro's actions.

Military engagement in the turmoil in the South American country would mark a vast escalation in US participation, which has thus far been limited to rebukes from the White House and economic sanctions.

The White House said Maduro requested a phone call with Trump on Friday, which the administration appeared to spurn, saying in a statement that Trump would gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela once democracy was restored.

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

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