President Donald Trump has said he will not rule out military action to tackle the continued crisis in Venezuela.
Mr Trump said people in the Latin American country are “suffering and they are dying” as he said all options remain on the table including a potential military intervention.
Venezuela’s defence minister hit back at his comments, calling them “craziness” and “supreme extremism”.
The Venezuelan government is facing mounting criticism and has been accused of undermining democracy after President Nicolas Maduro introduced a new constituent assembly which holds the power to rewrite the constitution and override parliament.
The US recently imposed sanctions on President Maduro and branded him a dictator.
Speaking to reporters at his Bedminster golf club on Friday, Mr Trump said: “We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option.
“A military operation and military option is certainly something that we could pursue.”
Defence minister General Vladimir Padrino responded to the comments, saying: “With this extremist elite that’s in charge in the US, who knows what will happen to the world?”
On Thursday, Mr Trump said he discussed Venezuela along with North Korea and Afghanistan in a security briefing with top national security aides and his vice president Mike Pence.