(CNSNews.com) – The Venezuelan people are starving, their country is collapsing, and the situation is “completely unacceptable,” President Donald Trump said at the start of a working dinner with Latin American leaders in New York Monday night.
“The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,” Trump said, referring to the new financial sanctions imposed by his administration last month.
“We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on a path to imposing authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people,” Trump said, offering no specifics of what that “further action” might be.
But on August 11, speaking at his golf club in New Jersey, Trump said he would not rule out U.S. military action in Venezuela: “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” he said at the time.
On Monday night, Trump said the goal of Venezuela’s “responsible neighbors and friends” must be to help Venezuelans regain their freedom and democracy.
Trump said he was asking every Latin American leader at the dinner to “be prepared to do more to address this unbelievably serious crisis.
“We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela, and we want it to happen very, very soon,” the president said.
In mid-August, President Trump refused to take a call from Venezuelan President/dictator Nicolas Maduro. “President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country,” his press secretary said in a statement.