Venezuela assembly denounces 'vile threats' from Donald Trump

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In a message sent through her account in the social network Twitter, Rodriguez rejected the threats expressed the eve by U.S. President, Donald Trump, when he declared that "the U.S. has many options on Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary".

Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino branded Trump's threat as "a insane act", on Friday.

Trump said on Friday (Saturday NZ time) that all options were open against Venezuela in response to the country's descent into political chaos following President Nicolas Maduro's power grab.

After days of heightened rhetoric over a nuclear-armed North Korea, President Trump said he also wouldn't rule out a "military option" in Venezuela.

General Vladimir Padrino, a close ally of Maduro, said: "With this extremist elite that's in charge in the United States, who knows what will happen to the world?"

U.S. officials previewing the trip before Trump's remarks said Venezuela is expected to feature prominently in Pence's discussions with leaders. Trump added that Washington is considering several options to intervene in Venezuela, one of them being military action should its need arise.

In response to Maduro's actions, Peru has ordered the expulsion of the Venezuelan ambassador from Lima.

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Donald Trump speaks to the press from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

He formerly accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of being a "dictator", for holding national elections to select the members of a Constituent Assembly, with power to rewrite the national constitution.

"So the question is for the United States, what's the best way to proceed?" said Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.

However, the US Department of Defense said that "the Pentagon has received no orders" from the president regarding a Venezuela operation.

When asked about military options following Trump's comments Friday, a US official told ABC News that "the State Department still has the lead".

In the same speech, however, Maduro called America an "imperialist government" attempting to overthrow the Venezuelan government. "Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledezma are political prisoners being held illegally by the regime", Trump said in a statement earlier this month, referencing Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, two of Maduro's top political opponents.

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