According to multiple reports, President Donald J. Trump refused to accept a phone call from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Friday evening. The White House stated that President Donald J.Trump will not speak to him “until democracy is restored in that country.”
The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the spurned phone call with the following statement:
“Since the start of this Administration, President Trump has asked that Maduro respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people. The Maduro regime has refused to heed this call, which has been echoed around the region and the world. Instead Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship.
“The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime. President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country.”
After the recent election in Venezuela Sunday, the White House released a statement that said, “We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of today’s flawed election,” and promised to impose sanctions against the country.
During a short press conference held in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday, President Donald J. Trump hit Venezuela again, when he said at a press briefing that he is “not going to rule out a military option” against Venezuela, adding that it is “certainly something that we could pursue.” The president is staying in New Jersey while the White House undergoes repairs.
Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino reacted to President Trump’s comments from New Jersey by releasing his own comment. Vladimir Padrino said that President Trump’s threat was “an act of craziness.”
“It is an act of craziness. It is an act of supreme extremism. There is an extremist elite that rules the United States. As a soldier, I stand with the Venezuelan armed forces, and with the people. I am sure that we will all be on the front lines of defending the interests and sovereignty of this beloved Venezuela,” stated Venezuela’s defense minister .
Soaring inflation and store shelves continuously empty of groceries and basic supplies have created massive rioting and rising crime in Venezuela in recent months, putting the country on the brink of an all-out civil war.
Maduro reportedly offered to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, saying, “Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand,.” But clearly, Trump is not taking to the gesture.
United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley called elections in Venezuela a “sham.”
ABOUT President Nicolas Maduro
Nicolás Maduro Moros (born 23 November 1962) is a Venezuelan politician who has been the President of Venezuela since assuming office in 2013. Previously he served under President Hugo Chávez as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as Vice President of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013.
A former bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader, before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000. He was appointed to a number of positions within the Venezuelan Government under Chávez, ultimately being made Foreign Minister in 2006. He was described during this time as the “most capable administrator and politician of Chávez’s inner circle”. After Chávez’s death was announced on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the powers and responsibilities of the president. A special election was held on 14 April 2013 to elect a new president, and Nicolas Maduro won with 50.62% of the votes as the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. He was formally inaugurated on 19 April.
Maduro has ruled Venezuela by decree since 19 November 2013. As a result of Chávez’s policies and Maduro’s continuation of them, Venezuela’s socioeconomic status declined, with crime, inflation, poverty and hunger increasing. Shortages in Venezuelaand decreased living standards resulted in protests beginning in 2014 that escalated into daily riots nationwide by 2016, with Maduro’s popularity suffering. The loss of popularity saw the election of an opposition-led National Assembly in 2015 and a movement toward recalling Maduro in 2016, though Maduro still maintains power through loyal political bodies, such as the Supreme Court and electoral authority, as well as the military. Maduro, like Chávez, has been accused of authoritarian leadership, with conventional media describing him as a dictator, especially following the suspension of the recall movement that was directed towards him.Following the 2017 Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly election, the United States sanctioned Maduro which froze US assets and prohibited him from entering the country, stating that he was a “dictator.”
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