WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump telephoned his Peruvian counterpart Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Saturday to discuss ways to address the “deteriorating political and economic crisis” in Venezuela.
Trump told Kuczynski that the United States “will work together with Peru in seeking to improve democratic institutions and help the people of Venezuela,” the White House said in a brief statement.
For over a month, Venezuela has been mired in street protests by both supporters and opponents of Nicolas Maduro’s government that have left 37 people dead and over 700 injured.
The Trump administration has repeatedly expressed concerns over the plight of the Venezuelan people, who have faced shortages of medical supplies, food and other resources, while reaching out to other countries in the region to help resolve the situation.
Washington has not ruled out extending the sanctions imposed by the Barack Obama administration against certain members of the government of Maduro.
The US senate has already presented a new bill to increase the sanctions and broaden the scope of action to address the situation in Venezuela.
According to the White House statement, the Peruvian president also “expressed his gratitude for President Trump’s prompt humanitarian assistance in response to the devastating floods in Peru” during the conversation.