Trump sent Maduro into a fury when he warned that US military action was on the table:
President Donald Trump said on Sunday that sending U.S. troops to Venezuela is ‘an option’ but he ruled out a meeting with socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.
In an interview with CBS News, Trump reiterated that military intervention was a possibility.
‘Certainly, it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option,’ Trump said, adding that Maduro requested a meeting months ago.
‘I’ve turned it down because we’re very far along in the process,’ he said in a CBS ‘Face the Nation’ interview. ‘So, I think the process is playing out – very, very big tremendous protests.’
The United States, Canada and several Latin American countries have disavowed Maduro over his disputed re-election last year and recognize Guaido as the rightful leader of the economically troubled OPEC nation.
Maduro however still maintains the powerful backing of Russia, China and Turkey, whose foreign minister said on Sunday that Western meddling was fueling Venezuela’s troubles and punishing millions of its people.
Trump spoke with Guaido on Thursday to ‘congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency,’ according to a White House statement.
Tens of thousands of people thronged the streets of various Venezuelan cities on Saturday to protest Maduro’s government and a senior air force general recognized interim-chief Guaido.
France and Austria said on Sunday they would recognize Guaido if Maduro did not respond to the European Union’s call for a free and fair presidential election by Sunday night.