Trump warns Venezuela is 'collapsing'

An opposition activist throws a molotov cocktail in Caracas on August 12, 2017, amid deadly clashes between protesters and security forces that killed 125 people from April to July (AFP Photo/RONALDO SCHEMIDT) (AFP/File)

New York (AFP) - President Donald Trump warned Monday that Venezuela is "collapsing," suggesting the United States may take additional steps to restore democracy.

Trump told Latin American allies gathered on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly that President Nicolas "Maduro defied his own people" and was guilty of "disastrous rule" that may necessitate further punitive measures.

"The Venezuelan people are starving. Their country is collapsing," he said.

Washington has already slapped sanctions the crisis-stricken country and Trump warned on August 11 that the United States was mulling a range of options against Venezuela, "including a possible military option if necessary."

Trump did not repeat that warning, but said the United States was prepared to take further action, without offering details.

"Their democratic institutions are being destroyed," he said. "Our goal must be to help them and restore their democracy."

The meeting was attended by Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos, Brazil's Michel Temer, Panama's Juan Carlos Varela and Argentina's vice president Gabriela Michetti.