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Rhetoric Aside, Latin American Leaders Say Trump Listened on Venezuela

September 22, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Venezuela’s authoritarian government from the podium at the United Nations this week but Latin American leaders say that behind the scenes he listened to them on how best to resolve the delicate regional crisis.

Latin American leaders who dined with Trump on Monday on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly said they told him that a military invasion, a threat he casually made last month, would be unacceptable in a region long-sensitive to heavy-handed intervention by Washington.

They pressed on him the need for a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela and argued against economic sanctions that would deepen its humanitarian crisis, which has already sent tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring countries....

...Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Americas Society, a business forum dedicated to fostering ties between the United States and Latin America, said the talks between Trump and regional leaders sent a clear message to Maduro.

“The most important thing that came out of the dinner was the photograph showing the president and the vice president of the United States sitting down with regional leaders to talk about Venezuela,” Farnsworth said....

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