Pentagon denies receiving orders on military action against Venezuela

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 — The Pentagon has not been ordered to take military action on Venezuela, its spokesman said Friday, after President Donald Trump declared using force was an option.

President Trump told a press conference the White House had “many options” for Venezuela where over 120 people have died since early April in protest-related violence.

“The Pentagon has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela,” Eric Pahon said, as quoted by the CNN television channel. “The military conducts contingency planning for a variety of situations. If called upon, we are prepared to support… government efforts to protect our national interests.”

On Thursday, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro ordered his foreign minister to arrange a private meeting or a phone conversation with his US counterpart, in a bid to ease tensions between the two countries over the inauguration of a controversial constituent assembly in Caracas.