Trump says US seeks peaceful change in Venezuela

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MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump addressing the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the United States seeks a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but “all options are open.”

Trump spoke on Monday in Miami about the monthslong political crisis in Venezuela and the dangers of socialism. The U.S. is supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido (gwy-DOH’) as the rightful Venezuelan leader over President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump says he is asking every member of the Maduro regime to end this “nightmare” of poverty and death.

He says, “Let your people go. Set your country free.”

The Venezuelan military has largely remained loyal to Maduro. Trump says Guaido’s government will not seek retribution against them, but if they continue to support Maduro, they will “lose everything.”

South Florida is home to the largest number of Venezuelans in the United States.

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5:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says socialism has ravaged Venezuela to the point that even the world’s largest oil reserves cannot keep the lights on in the country.

Trump spoke on Monday in Miami about the political crisis in Venezuela and the dangers of socialism.

Trump welcomed onto the stage the mother of Oscar Perez, a Venezuelan police officer who flew a helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at the Supreme Court building. He and several comrades died in a gun battle with police after months on the lam.

The president says the U.S. is “profoundly grateful to every dissident and every exile.” He says what happened in Venezuela “will never happen to us.”

Trump says a “new day is coming in Latin America.”

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12:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump will seek on Monday to rally support among the largest Venezuelan community in the U.S. for opposition leader Juan Guaido (gwy-DOH’), saying Venezuela’s “current path toward democracy is irreversible.”

That’s according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who says that Trump will use his Miami speech to express “strong support” for Guaido and condemn President Nicolas Maduro’s government and its socialist policies.

As the monthslong political crisis continues, Trump is to make a public case to Venezuela’s military to support Guaido’s government.

The Venezuelan military has largely remained loyal to Maduro. Sanders says Trump would warn the Venezuelan military that the U.S. “knows where military officials and their families have money hidden throughout the world.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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