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U.S. President Donald Trump pauses speaks about the crisis in Venezuela during a visit to Florida International University in Miami, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2019.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Even during his visit to Miami, U.S. President Donald Trump did not ease up the pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. President Trump urged Venezuelan military forces to abandon their leader and support Opposition standard-bearer Juan Guiado or face ruin:

“You will find no safe harbor, no
easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything. We seek a peaceful
transition of power, but all options are open.”

Trump also stated that the Venezuelan
armed forces were risking their military careers and lives for the sake of
Maduro whom the U.S President branded a puppet of the Cuban military:

“Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot.
He is a Cuban puppet, that’s what he is.”

Trump continued his blistering attack
by saying that the world knows the truth about the Maduro regime and that his
days are numbered:

“Today, and every day in the future,
you cannot hide from the choice that confronts you.”

Trump declared that he supports
opposition leader Juan Guaido and condemns Maduro’s socialist policies. The
United States and 50 other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s
interim president.

In response, Maduro accused Trump of
speaking “like a Nazi” and said that he has no right to give orders to the
Venezuelan military:

“Who is the commander of the armed forces,
Donald Trump from Miami?” Maduro said on state TV. “They think they’re the
owners of the country.”

Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir
Padrino Lopez reiterated the military’s support for Maduro:

“The armed forces will never
receive orders from foreign powers and will remain deployed at the borders to
avoid irregularities.”

Padrino added that military troops
will only obey the orders of President Nicolas Maduro and anyone who would dare
to install a puppet government would have to go “over the dead bodies”
of his soldiers.

On the same day, Trump tweeted:

“I ask every member of the Maduro
regime: End this nightmare of poverty, hunger and death. LET YOUR PEOPLE GO.
Set your country free! Now is the time for all Venezuelan Patriots to act
together, as one united people. Nothing could be better for the future of
Venezuela!”

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