Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday confirmed the U.S. is not ruling out a military option in Venezuela, but emphasized a diplomatic solution, The Hill reports.
“We have many options for Venezuela, but the president also remains confident that working with all of our allies across Latin America we can achieve a peaceable solution,” Pence said in Cartagena, Colombia, according to Reuters.
Trump on Friday said “a military option is certainly something that we could pursue” in Venezuela, saying that people there are “suffering”. Pence is in Colombia kicking off a trip to several Latin American countries, many of which were alarmed by Trump’s recent comments. He spoke alongside Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, who cautioned that U.S. military intervention in Venezuela “should not even be considered”.
“We will continue to stand with free nations across our hemisphere until democracy is restored for the Venezuelan people,” Pence said.
The U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in late July amid his attempts to rewrite his country’s constitution by forming a new constituent assembly. Opposition protests in the country – which have gone on for months – have been met with violence and the country is also struggling due to food and medical shortages.