CARACAS – Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met on Saturday with the US charge d’affaires in Caracas, Lee McClenny, after US President Donald Trump said his government did not dismiss applying a “military option” to the crisis in the Caribbean country.
The meeting was called by the Venezuelan foreign minister to the accredited diplomatic corps in that country, and was attended by 62 representatives of foreign governments and international organizations.
When Arreaza spoke to reporters afterwards, he said “We talked with the US charge d’affaires, and of course he told us: ‘We don’t share some of what you said,’ so I asked him “Which approach do you want?” Dialogue? We extend our hand to you. You want another approach? Fine, we’re also here to defend our land and stand our ground on any terrain.’”
Nonetheless, the head of Venezuelan diplomacy also said the Nicolas Maduro government could “mend relations” not only with the United States but with all the countries that in recent months have criticized his decisions, especially the installation of a plenipotentiary Constituent Assembly.
Arreaza told the diplomats during the meeting about Washington’s actions against Caracas since 2015, when it declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States, and later said he was “pleased” that during the meeting he received “the solidarity of practically all the diplomats and representatives of international organizations” who were present.
He therefore considered this “a moment of unity” in the region and insisted that the Community of Latin American States (Celac) must schedule a presidential summit, something Maduro had already proposed but has not yet been organized.
Trump said Friday that his government does not dismiss a “military option” to resolve the “very dangerous mess” that Venezuela is going through, plunged in a wave of protests that has left at least 121 fatalities.
“You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying,” Trump said.