Trump says sending US military to Venezuela could be “an option”

Pressure mounts on leader Nicolas Maduro to step down from his position as president, as the Trump considers military intervention.

US president Donald Trump has said that military intervention in Venezuela was "an option" as Western nations join him in calling for Maduro to step down.

‘Certainly, it's something that's on the – it's an option,’ Trump said in an interview with CBS on Sunday. Trump added that Maduro requested a meeting months ago.

However, Russia has shown support to Maduro and warned against “destructive meddling.”

This comes after several Latin American countries backed by the US, have disavowed Maduro, with disputes over his re-election last year. They instead show their support and recognize self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido as the country's leader.

Last week the US issued harsh sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firms, as Maduro accused the US and Guaido of forming a coup against him.

Impact on oil and energy markets

The conflict has had a significant impact on the oil market, at a crucial time for the industry as OPEC start to cut back on output.

Analysts say investors are trading cautiously and are sensitive to the disruptions, as the market is readjusting to new realities. Venezuela sanctions could also impact energy markets resulting in low output for some time to come.

Maduro proposes early parliamentary election

Maduro proposed an early parliamentary election on Saturday, after a senior general switched to support the opposition.

Protests also erupted against Maduro’s leadership on Saturday, as he addressed the nation on state television, promising peace for the country.

‘In Venezuela, there will be peace, and we will guarantee this peace with the civil military union,’ Maduro said.

It’s estimated 10-20% of Venezuelan’s support Maduro, with the police and military also backing him in his second term as president, however after a senior official switched to back Guaido, analysts say the military’s backing of Maduro could be short lived.

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