WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement in response to President Trump’s comments about possible military intervention in Venezuela:

"While there are no easy answers to the challenges facing the Venezuelan people, President Trump's reckless comments suggesting that U.S. military action in Venezuela is on the table demonstrate his complete misunderstanding of how to approach complex foreign policy challenges. At a time when the hemisphere has finally come together to reject the Venezuelan dictatorship, President Trump's rhetoric threatens to destroy this strong, multilateral approach and bolster Nicolas Maduro and his cronies. It should come as no surprise that a President whose approach to Latin America starts with building a wall to divide us from our allies to the south has chosen to alienate our neighbors even further by threatening military action.

"Venezuela should be the wealthiest country in South America. Sadly, President Maduro and his predecessor instead put the country on a path to starvation and daily shortages. And with the sham constituent assembly recently put in place, the country is now a full-fledged dictatorship. The road out of the mess in Venezuela will be long and difficult, and will require a continued, tough approach to President Maduro through targeted sanctions and multilateral actions at the OAS and UN. Irresponsible rhetoric from President Trump is not only counterproductive but also the greatest gift that he can give to the Venezuelan dictatorship."

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