A Venezuelan cardinal rejected the possibility of foreign intervention in the country following US President Donald Trump's threat to pursue a military option.
"The crisis we Venezuelans are suffering is so serious that now an external problem arises: the threats of a military option by President Trump," Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas said.
The cardinal spoke on 13 August after celebrating the 150th anniversary of the consecration of his archdiocese's cathedral on 13 August. He rejected the assertion that foreign military intervention could solve the crisis Venezuela is experiencing.
"I - and I am sure all the Venezuelan bishops - reject all foreign military interference, such as the Cuban one present for some time in Venezuela," Cardinal Urosa said, "and I do not agree with the threat of a military option."
After a meeting on 11 August with Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations and H.R. McMaster, national security adviser, Trump told journalists that a military intervention was "certainly something that we could pursue."
"Venezuela is a mess. It is very dangerous mess and a very sad situation," Trump said. "The people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary."
Elections for seats on a constituent assembly were held in Venezuela on 30 July amid massive protests and international outcry. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's push for the assembly, comprised mainly of his supporters and designed to rewrite the nation's constitution, has led to violent demonstrations in which more than 100 people have died.
Cardinal Urosa said a foreign military intervention would not solve the real problem, which is a "social, political and economic crisis we suffer that is becoming more serious."
"The ones who must solve this current crisis are we Venezuelans and especially the government that created it," the cardinal said.