CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on Monday for international support for a presidential summit to deal with the issue of the “threat” of military action issued by his US counterpart, Donald Trump.
Maduro made the request before the ambassadors of Spain, France, Japan, Syria, Vietnam and Guatemala, who presented their diplomatic credentials to him on Monday at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas.
The Venezuelan leader asked the assembled envoys to relay to their governments his request for a presidential summit “behind closed doors to attend to the issue of peace in Venezuela and now to attend to the issue of the threat of military invasion by the government of Mr. Donald Trump against Venezuela.”
He called Trump’s threat the “most serious threat (Venezuela) has received” in its 200 years as a republic.
Maduro said that “the threat of war, the threat of violence can only be dissipated with dialogue, diplomacy, politics, union.”
The White House said on Friday that Trump had refused to speak with Maduro by telephone, and the US president asked that he “respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people,” although “instead, Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship.”
The statement came shortly after Trump told reporters that “a military option” to the Venezuelan political and economic crisis was still possible, although the Pentagon confirmed that it had “not received any orders with regards to Venezuela.”