Of course, unlike North Korea, which has been test firing ballistic missiles, Venezuela in no way poses a threat to the United States.
Still, as with North Korea (to which Trump issued the “locked and loaded” threat on the same day) the president jumped from sanctions to military threats when on Friday he said that the United States has “many options for Venezuela, including a military option, if necessary.”
He also refused to take a call from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
In a rapid response to Trump, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, shot down any notion of a military response at this time:
No. Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today.
Facing a major economic downturn, the country has been embroiled in national unrest between Maduro, who is moving to rework the country’s constitution to consolidate his power — and his opposition, which has been mounting protests against Maduro for nearly a year.