Venezuela's defense minister calls Trump talk 'craziness'

Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly declares itself superior to all other government bodies

"We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary", Mr Trump told reporters.

Vladimir Padrino, Venezuela's defence minister, said on Friday night that Trump's threat was an "act of craziness" and "supreme extremism".

"Venezuela categorically rejects the unfriendly and warmongering declarations of Trump, who has threatened us with a military intervention, in violation of United Nations principles and worldwide law", said the foreign minister.

"We're all over the world, and we have troops all over the world, in places that are very, very far away", he continued.

President Nicolas Maduro has been under intense criticism around the world for installing a new all-powerful assembly that supersedes the Venezuelan congress and is packed with Maduro loyalists.

Trump has criticized Maduro many times throughout the past month, saying in a July 17 statement that the leader "dreams of becoming a dictator", adding that "the United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles".

Earlier this years, a former Venezuelan military official told Reuters that anti-aircraft missiles had been installed along the country's coast, in preparation for the expected USA invasion. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you".

N. Korea tension triggers run to safety; stocks off, gold up
Geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on Wall Street amid an ongoing escalation in tensions between the US and North Korea. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

President Donald Trump's threat of a "military option" in Venezuela seems to contradict the advice of his top national security adviser.

Trump did not indicate if a military option would be lead by US troops.

The United States is increasing pressure on Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro. However, his request seems to have been ignored, with the White House stating that Trump would only consider talking to Maduro once democracy is restored in Venezuela.

In addition, the statement stressed that since assuming his mandate, Trump has asked his Venezuelan counterpart to respect the Constitution, hold free and fair elections, release "political prisoners" and stop committing human rights violations.

The Pentagon said it had not received any orders on Venezuela from the White House.

The Venezuelan people, crushed under the weight of massive inflation and Maduro's oppressive regime, are struggling to provide even the most basic necessities for their families.

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