After months of attacking Venezuela's unpopular President Nicolas Maduro, Latin America came out strongly against U.S. threats of military action against the crisis-hit nation. U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise comments on Friday may bring the beleaguered Maduro some respite in the region, just as Venezuela was on verge of becoming a pariah over its recent installation of a legislative superbody, widely condemned as a power grab by the ruling Socialists, Reuters reported.
Following Trump's assertion that military intervention in Venezuela was an option, Maduro's critics are caught between backing the idea of a foreign invasion of Venezuela or supporting a president they call a dictator.
The sudden escalation of Washington's response to Venezuela's crisis preceded U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to the region beginning Sunday. He is set to visit Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Panama.
Trump did not specify what type of options he had in mind.
Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino on Friday disparaged Trump's warning as "craziness" and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Saturday Venezuela rejected "hostile" threats, calling on Latin America to unite against Washington.
"We want to express gratitude for all the expressions ofsolidarity and rejection of the use of force from governments around the world, including Latin America," said Arreaza, in a short speech on Saturday.
"Some of these countries have recently taken positions absolutely contrary to our sovereignty and independence but still have rejected the declarations of the U.S. president."