Maduro warns Venezuela army over Trump 'invasion' plans

Trump reportedly raised the idea in August 2017 during a meeting about sanctions the United States has imposed on oil rich Venezuela (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA) (AFP/File)
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Caracas (AFP) - President Nicolas Maduro urged his armed forces Wednesday to be on guard following news reports in the United States that a year ago President Donald Trump raised the possibility of invading Venezuela.

"You cannot lower you guard for even a second, because we will defend the greatest right our homeland has had in all of its history," Maduro said at a military ceremony, "which is to live in peace."

He alluded to reports in the US press which said that last August Trump asked foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela, which the Trump administration has derided as a corrupt, leftwing dictatorship.

Trump raised the idea in August 2017 during a meeting about sanctions the United States has imposed on oil rich Venezuela, CNN said, quoting a senior administration official.

Trump's advisers said no, as did Latin American leaders with whom Trump also raised the idea, CNN said.

Maduro said these reports back up his assertion that the United States is planning a military attack against Venezuela to seize its vast oil reserves.

Maduro said Trump's question to his advisers came after Venezuelan opposition figures visited the White House.

"Is this a coincidence? No, it is not a coincidence," Maduro said.

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