Venezuelan president warns army over Trump 'invasion' plans

CARACAS: President Nicolas Maduro urged his armed forces on Wednesday to be on guard following news reports in the United States that a year ago President Donald Trump raised the possibility of invading Venezuela.

“You cannot lower you guard for even a second, because we will defend the greatest right our homeland has had in all of its history,” Maduro said at a military ceremony, “which is to live in peace.”

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He alluded to reports in the US press which said that last August Trump asked foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela, which the Trump administration has derided as a corrupt, left-wing dictatorship.

Trump raised the idea in August 2017 during a meeting about sanctions the United States has imposed on oil rich Venezuela, CNN said, quoting a senior administration official.

Trump’s advisers said no, as did Latin American leaders with whom Trump also raised the idea, CNN said.

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Maduro said these reports back up his assertion that the United States is planning a military attack against Venezuela to seize its vast oil reserves.

Maduro said Trump’s question to his advisers came after Venezuelan opposition figures visited the White House.

“Is this a coincidence? No, it is not a coincidence,” Maduro said.

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