Pentagon denies receiving orders on military action against Venezuela

Kim Jong-un the Communist dictator of the Democratic Republic of North Korea

Kim Jong-un the Communist dictator of the Democratic Republic of North Korea

The White House has condemned President Nicolás Maduro's regime for human rights abuses. Still, he found his way around to talking up the possibility of attacking Venezuela as well. The coalition rejected "the use of force or threats of applying the same in Venezuela on the part of any country".

The coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, did not mention Trump's name, but its message was clear.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions against Maduro and more than two-dozen current and former officials in response to a crackdown on opposition leaders and the recent election of a pro-government assembly given the job of rewriting the country's constitution. "You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away".

Trump's comment on Friday that his administration was mulling many options, "including a possible military option if necessary", to fix the "dangerous mess" in Venezuela outraged Caracas, which called it "reckless" and "madness".

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But with many Venezuelans sharing bitter memories in Latin America of past United States military adventures in the region - including invasions, propping up dictators and promoting guerilla forces - there was little appetite for forced change from Washington.

Pence's trip will also take him to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City, Panama, where he is expected to deliver a number of speeches, meet with the country's leaders and tour the newly expanded Panama Canal.

The U.S. will also likely be looking for assurances that Colombia is taking seriously the surging coca production in the country, which has been blamed partially on Santos' decision in 2015 to stop using crop-destroying herbicides.

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