Washington, July 5: US president Donald Trump asked his top aides on the idea of invading Venezuela and removing its president Nicolas Maduro through military options.
In a meeting last August to discuss sanctions on Venezuela in the Oval Office, Trump asked why he could not just invade the country.
Months later, Trump was briefed not to mention the topic at a private dinner with leaders from four Latin American allies, but the first thing the president said was “my staff told me not to say this” – stunning his advisers at the time, Reports stated.
The initial discussion, which took place with the then US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security adviser Herbert McMaster among others, resulted in aides taking turns to explain why military action was not a good idea.
The then US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security adviser Herbert McMaster argued that military action to punish President Nicolas Maduro was not a good idea as it could risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments
Trump apparently argued the case and pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.
The idea, despite his aides’ best attempts to shoot it down, nonetheless persisted in the president’s head.
The day after the topic was first brought up at the private Oval Office meeting last August, he again spoke of a “military option” to remove Maduro from power. The public remarks were initially dismissed in US policy circles as the sort of martial bluster people have come to expect from the reality TV star turned commander-in-chief.