04:05 GMT +321 August 2017
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    A shaman performs a ceremony holding a portrait of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro upside down, as another holds a poster of U.S. President Donald Trump, on Morro Solar in Lima, Peru, Monday, June 12, 2017

    Trump Rules Out Talks With Venezuela's Maduro Until 'Democracy Restored'

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    US President Donald Trump has been asked to have a phone conversation with Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro and will gladly speak with him once democracy is restored in this South American country, the White House said Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Trump administration said Washington stood with the people of Venezuela and demanded that President Maduro "respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people."

    "Today, Nicolas Maduro requested a phone call with President Donald J. Trump… President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country," the statement read.

    Maduro said Thursday he had ordered his foreign minister to arrange a private meeting or a phone conversation with Trump. The US president stepped up his rhetoric on Venezuela on Friday, warning he would not rule out a military option for Venezuela. The Pentagon spokesman denied receiving any specific orders.

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    talks, Donald Trump, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela, United States
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