Trump Declines Venezuelan President’s Phone Call Amid Humanitarian Crisis

President Donald Trump looks at members of the media extra the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Tuesday, 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The White House confirmed President Trump declined Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s phone call request on Friday amid growing political and social turmoil in the country.

“Since the start of this Administration, President Trump has asked that Maduro respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. ‘The Maduro regime has refused to heed this call, which has been echoed around the region and the world. Instead Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship.”

The statement also said the US is in solidarity with Venezuelans and Trump will speak to Maduro when “democracy is restored.”

‘The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime,” Sanders said. “President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country.”

The statement came shortly after Trump told reporters that all options remain on the table in response to anti-democratic actions in Venezuela, including military intervention.

The Trump administration has already placed sanctions on Venezuela in the wake of a crackdown on opposition leaders.