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February 21, 2018

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US Sen. Rubio steps up Venezuela rhetoric by suggesting coup

Updated Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 | 10:20 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is stepping up his typically strong rhetoric against the Venezuelan government by suggesting its army should rise up in rebellion.

The Florida senator says on Twitter that the world would support the armed forces if they removed a leader he calls a "dictator."

He did not mention President Nicolas Maduro by name. But Rubio said in a separate tweet Friday that soldiers eat out of garbage cans and their families go hungry while Maduro and his friends "live like kings" amid the economic collapse in the South American country.

The Republican senator represents thousands of Venezuelan exiles who have moved to Florida to flee unrest in their home country.

Venezuela's government had no immediate reaction to the unusually harsh tweets.