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Monday, August 14, 2017

Trump says he’s open to military intervention in Venezuela


President Donald Trump is expressing concern over the growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and not ruling out military action as a response. Trump told reporters Friday that all options remain on the table in response to anti-democratic actions in Venezuela, including military intervention. Venezuela’s defense minister called Trump’s talk of a military intervention an act of “craziness” and “supreme extremism.” More…

In Latin America, VP Pence threads needle on Venezuela


“President Trump is a leader who says what he means and means what he says,” Pence said. “But the president sent me here to continue to marshal the unprecedented support of countries across Latin America to achieve by peaceable means the restoration of democracy in Venezuela, and we believe it is achievable by those means.” Trump’s startling comments Friday sparked backlash across the region, including from Venezuela’s chief opposition coalition and the Colombian government. Standing at Pence’s side in Cartagena after the two met, Santos said he had repeatedly told Pence in no uncertain terms that the U.S. must not even consider military action in response to Venezuela’s crisis. More…

Venezuelan sanctions without diplomacy will fail


On principle the United States should stand up to the Venezuelan regime. Rallying the world to defend democracy matters, as does humanitarian relief for Venezuelans' immense suffering. But true progress will require heavy diplomacy, building a broad coalition of nations to deny Venezuela's authoritarian leaders admittance to the global community and to support its beleaguered people. Sanctions are one tool. But they don't work in a diplomatic vacuum. And don't expect them to bring regime change. More…

Venezuela could become a risk to US: CIA director


CIA director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Venezuela could become a “risk” to the US if chaos continues to roil the South American country.​ ​ “The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there​,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “​This is something that has a risk of getting to a very​,​ very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”​ ​More…

Powerful Venezuelan lawmaker may have issued death order against Rubio


One of Venezuela’s most powerful leaders may have put out an order to kill Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fervent critic of the South American country’s government, according to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month. Though federal authorities couldn’t be sure at the time if the uncorroborated threat was real, they took it seriously enough that Rubio has been guarded by a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami. Believed to be behind the order: Diosdado Cabello, the influential former military chief and lawmaker from the ruling socialist party who has publicly feuded with Rubio. More…