'All options' open as Trump tells Russia to 'get out' of Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro.
Nicolas Maduro. Photo credit: Reuters

US President Donald Trump says Russian soldiers need to leave Venezuela, days after a Russian military contingent arrived just outside of Caracas, saying "all options" are open to make that happen.

"Russia has to get out," Trump told reporters on Wednesday during a meeting with Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Venezuelan Opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Asked how that could be accomplished, Trump said: "We'll see. All options are open."

Vice President Mike Pence also called on Russia to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, calling the arrival of Russian troops an "unnecessary provocation".

Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, saying Maduro's re-election was not legitimate.

"The United States views Russia's arrival of military planes this weekend as an unwelcome provocation," Pence told reporters.

Two Russian air force planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday carrying nearly 100 Russian troops. The US government believes the troops include special forces and cybersecurity personnel.

"We call on Russia today to cease all support of the Maduro regime and stand with Juan Guaido and stand with nations across this hemisphere and across the world until freedom is restored," Pence said.

Reuters