Russia says international sanctions on Venezuela "not constructive" (ROSN)

Fugitive mayor urges Venezuelans to continue resistance

Fugitive mayor urges Venezuelans to continue resistance

The situation in the South American country was discussed Friday at a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and US National Security Advisor H R McMaster at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The ringleader of a recent attack on a Venezuelan military base and another military officer in the raid have been captured, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said in a tweet on Friday.

"This is our neighbor", Trump said in reference to Venezuela. You know we're all over the world, and we have troops all over the world, some that are very, very far away.

Speaking to Journalists during an impromptu question and answer press conference, President Trump said that the people of Venezuela are suffering, and some are dying.

Venezuelan leader expresses willingness to hold talks with the U.S. president on the heels of a new wave of sanctions.

The White House said Mr Maduro had requested a phone call with his U.S. counterpart on Friday. During the remarks, Trump also announced that he will speak by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday night about North Korea. "But a military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue", he responded.

Maduro and his government have faced growing opposition from the United States and major Latin American nations over the controversial legislative superbody, which sparked months of deadly protests across the country. Until now, the United States has advocated a regional response, through the Organization of American States.

"The Pentagon has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said, according to CNN. The US recently imposed sanctions on President Maduro, branding him a dictator.

When a reporter followed up to ask Trump if this "military option" would be U.S. led, the president responded: "We don't talk about it". The United States imports about 740,000 barrels per day of oil from Venezuela.

Venezuela is facing a severe economic and political crisis after almost two decades of socialism, recently exacerbated by the Socialist Party's (PSUV) attempt to replace the democratically-elected National Assembly with a legislature comprised of hand-picked Maduro supporters. Most recently, on Wednesday the U.S. sanctioned the brother of deceased former leader Hugo Chavez - Adan, who was appointed secretary of Venezuela's new "all powerful" constituent assembly.

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