United States President Donald Trump on Friday said that he would not rule out a "military option" in Venezuela as the Latin American country descends further into civil unrest under the leadership of president Nicholas Maduro.
"We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club on Friday.
The president did not answer a question about whether American troops would lead a potential operation as the president Nicholas Maduro is on way of consolidating power, Trump responded by explicitly not ruling out military force.
"Venezuela is our neighbour. We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, we're all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary." CNN quoted Trump as saying.
The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after a July 30 vote that allowed the President to replace the opposition-held National Assembly with a new 545-member Constituent Assembly filled with his supporters.
Protests have rocked the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities in response to Maduro's move. The United Nation's' human rights office said earlier this month that Venezuelan security forces have used excessive force and arbitrarily detained thousands of people."
The United States condemns the actions of the Maduro dictatorship.
Venezuelan security forces have wielded excessive force to suppress protests, killing dozens, and have arbitrarily detained 5,000 people since April, including 1,000 still in custody.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement: "These violations have occurred amid the breakdown of the rule of law in Venezuela, with constant attacks by the Government against the National Assembly and the Attorney-General's Office."