Trump says democracy must be restored in Venezuela soon

President Donald Trump said on Monday he wanted democracy restored soon in Venezuela and warned that the United States might take additional measures to apply pressure on the oil-producing nation.

At a dinner with Latin American leaders on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly, Trump said the Venezuelan people were starving and their country, once one of the wealthiest, was collapsing. 

Brazilian President Michel Temer told reporters afterwards that all present at the dinner agreed on the need to ramp up international pressure on the Socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro but without intervening directly in Venezuela. 

Saying the situation in Venezuela was “completely unacceptable,” Trump called for a full restoration of democracy and political freedoms. “We want it to happen very soon.” 

Besides Temer, Trump invited presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Juan Carlos Varela of Panama and Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti to the dinner with their foreign ministers. 

“To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule,” Trump said at the dinner.