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Venezuela alarmed at Trump-Bolsonaro summit's 'preparation for war'

VENEZUELA has warned that talks at the weekend between US President Donald Trump and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro involved discussion of military action against it.

Announcing Saturday’s meeting, which took place at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr Bolsonaro accused the Workers Party governments of his predecessors Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of having weakened Brazil’s military.

He vowed that any “distrust” previous Brazilian administrations had felt for the US was over and said: “We must unite with all countries but especially with countries that are better than us,” with reference to trade, economy and defence.

Today he also met US Southern Command chief Admiral Craig Faller. The command stated last year that it “stood ready” to help Juan Guaido, who declared himself president of Venezuela in January with US support, take over from the country’s elected government. Mr Bolsonaro was due to discuss co-operation agreements with Admiral Faller that would bring Brazil into close military co-ordination with the US.

But while Mr Trump said that relations between the countries had never been better, he refused to rule out slapping threatened tariffs on Brazilian exports, saying: “I don’t make promises.”

On Venezuela, State Department officials said that they would maintain a policy of “maximum pressure” aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro’s democratically elected government.

Mr Maduro called for international solidarity against any threat of attack on his country.

“We denounce it and we ask all Brazilian democratic and humanitarian forces, the Brazilian people and the Brazilian army to stop any adventure, any madness, that Jair Bolsonaro in co-ordination with Trump is preparing against Venezuela,” he said.

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