World

The Latest: Venezuela rejects Trump talk of military option

The Latest on Venezuela's political crisis (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Venezuela's government is energetically rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's talk of a potential "military option" to resolve the country's political crisis, calling it the most egregious act of belligerence against Venezuela in a century and a threat to Latin America's stability.

The response came in a statement read Saturday by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in a meeting with foreign diplomats. They included Lee McClenny, the head of the U.S. embassy in Caracas.

Arreaza called Trump the "boss of the empire" and said his comments fit a pattern of aggression against Venezuelan sovereignty and violate international law and the U.N. charter.

Arreaza accused Washington of seeking to destabilize and divide Latin America and the Caribbean. He also thanked several governments, including ones recently critical of President Nicolas Maduro, for condemning Trump's comments.

Arreaza called on "good-minded" Venezuelans to put aside their political differences and unite in rejecting Trump's comments.

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11:55 a.m.

The top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela has arrived to hear what is likely to be a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump's talk of a possible "military option" to resolve the country's political crisis.

A straight-faced Lee McClenny walked into the colonial government building known as the Yellow House in Caracas on Saturday along with other foreign diplomats for a meeting with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. He did not make any comments.

Following the meeting Arreaza is expected to deliver a government statement responding to Trump's remarks, which have been panned by government allies as a dramatic escalation of the country's political conflict.

The United States and Venezuela have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010. McClenny has been serving as charge d'affaires in Caracas since 2014.