Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Colombia criticises Trump comments on Caracas

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2017 | 8:00 AM

CARACAS (AP):

The government of Colombia has rejected United States President Donald Trump's suggestion of a possible "military option" to resolve the deepening crisis in Venezuela.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it condemns "military measures and the use of force", and that all efforts to resolve Venezuela's crisis should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

President Juan Manuel Santos has called his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicol·s Maduro, a dictator and held out the possibility of breaking off diplomatic relations if Maduro doesn't reverse course on measures seen as increasingly authoritarian.

Yesterday's statement by the foreign ministry reiterated concerns about a "breakdown in the democratic order" in Venezuela and called for the United Nation's secretary general to help negotiate a solution.

The reaction from Washington's staunchest ally in South America came a day before US Vice-president Mike Pence arrived in Colombia to begin a four-nation tour of the region.

US officials previewing the trip before Trump's remarks said Venezuela is expected to feature prominently in Pence's discussions with leaders.