Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela? That was what U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly asked aides after being briefed on the troubled Latin American country.
According to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Trump had a meeting in the Oval Office last August to discuss sanctions on Venezuela with, among others, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster — both now former members of the administration. They were, according to the AP report, “stunned” by the president’s suggestion, which led to McMaster and others explaining how military action could backfire and risk losing support among Latin American governments.
Although Trump didn’t actually say he planned to get the military involved, he did bring up the successful use of troops against Panama and Grenada in the 1980s, according to AP.
The next day, August 11 2017, Trump made public comments about the use of a “military option” in Venezuela.
“We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away,” the president said. “Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”