At his first appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, President Donald Trump said he wanted democracy restored soon in Venezuela and warned that the United States might take additional measures to apply pressure on the oil-producing nation.
Responding to the comments, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called Trump’s speech an “aggression from the new Hitler of international politics … against the people of Venezuela.”
“The magnate thinks he is the owner of the world, but no one threatens Venezuela and nobody owns Venezuela,” Maduro added. “Donald Trump today threatened the president of the Bolivarian Republican of Venezuela with death.”
Maduro didn’t attend this year’s annual meeting at the United Nations.
“The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch. I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis,” Trump said at the U.N.
Last month, the United States applied financial sanctions against Venezuela, the country that supplies 10 percent of the oil the U.S. consumes. Trump said his government is prepared to take additional steps if Maduro continues on a path to authoritarian rule.
Trump also threatened the country with a “military option.”
At least 125 people have been killed in four months of protests against Maduro’s government, which has resisted calls to bring forward the presidential election and instead set up a pro-Maduro legislative super-body called a Constituent Assembly, which has overruled the country’s opposition-led Congress.
The country is also facing humanitarian crisis.
Venezuelans, who cannot afford plane tickets, have now resorted to walking to Brazilian border towns to combat medical care shortages. Low- or middle-income families, who rely on health care with government-set prices, are affected the worst.