President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump continues to threaten Venezuela with military intervention and urged all nations to stand in solidarity with his country.
Speaking to reporters at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Maduro recalled Trump’s previous remarks signaling military intervention was “an option” after Washington recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president last month.
“Today, the U.S. president has threatened Venezuela with military intervention. I want all world [countries] to act with solidarity [with Venezuela],” Maduro said.
“We are not slaves, beggars and servants of anybody. We are free women and men. This honor we have deep inside is our biggest motivation and gratification,” he said, pointing to the Venezuelan people’s “historical heroism” against U.S. attempts to take control of Venezuela.
On Wednesday, Trump said he would look at all the different options in dealing with the situation in Venezuela but did not discuss military intervention.
Trump’s remarks came amid a continued diplomatic and economic push by the U.S. to force Maduro to cede power to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president on Jan. 23.
The U.S., Canada, most countries in Latin America and over 20 European nations have lent their backing to Guaido following the announcement. But Maduro has refused calls for him to step down, insisting Washington is orchestrating a coup.
China, Iran, Russia and Turkey have put their weight behind Maduro.
Earlier Wednesday, Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, ruled out any support for military intervention in Venezuela and criticized Trump.
“I do worry about the president’s saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option,” the congressman said at a hearing.