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What We Know So Far About Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela

Taking a break from sabre-rattling against Iran and North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened military intervention in Venezuela on Friday, Reuters reports.

“The people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary,” Trump told reporters.

“We don’t talk about it but a military operation – a military option – is certainly something that we could pursue,” Trump also said. Reuters notes that over 120 people have been killed in Venezuela and thousands have been arrested since the unrest began.

According to Reuters, the government in Caracas did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s threat of intervention. The Pentagon also denied it had received any orders from the White House.

The assumption that the U.S. is siding with human rights, logic, and democracy in the conflict-ridden country has no basis in reality. A good example of this was when National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster was questioned as to why the U.S. imposed sanctions when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to hold a controversial election to consolidate more power but Trump praised Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey for doing more or less the same thing.

Related Reading: US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves, a common factor in American-led interventions ( Trump recently bragged about stealing oil from Iraq). The head of the CIA has already hinted that the agency has been working to implement regime change in Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region in order to do so. Not surprisingly, some experts claim the riots in Venezuela have been specifically designed to elicit a violent response from the authorities in a similar manner that was used to undermine the Syrian government in 2011.


Despite the fact the U.S. government was very successful in allowing the creation of a regional anti-Venezuela coalition of Latin American countries, some commentators are predicting that Trump’s most recent threat will alienate the U.S. from the rest of Latin America, as none of them take kindly to U.S. backed coups.

Why would Trump do that?

As is usually the case, Washington’s desire to undermine yet another country has pushed that country into the open arms of America’s cold war rival, Russia. Reuters just released a “special report” citing inside sources who revealed the South American nation is turning to Russia for cash and credit it needs to survive following American sanctions and offering prized state-owned oil assets in return. According to Reuters:

“Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), has been secretly negotiating since at least early this year with Russia’s biggest state-owned oil company, Rosneft (ROSN.MM) – offering ownership interests in up to nine of Venezuela’s most productive petroleum projects, according to a top Venezuelan government official and two industry sources familiar with the talks.” [emphasis added]

Related Reading: U.S. Destabilizes Venezuela, Syria To Retain Hegemony In Global Oil, Gas Markets

Reuters also notes that under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela also cemented a $4 billion arms-for-oil-deal in 2006 with Russia, which brought the countries closer together. Conversely, Chavez actively rejected American corporations, making it a primary target for regime change and failed coup attempts for some years now.

South America, once part of America’s almighty empire, has slowly but surely fallen out of the hands of the American elite and is playing by its own rules. Venezuela’s close neighbor, Ecuador, recently announced it will not abide by OPEC’s production curbs as it needs the oil to address its fiscal deficit, which has, in turn, rattled Saudi Arabia. Ecuador has also been looking to enjoy a close relationship with Russia for some time now and will look to expand this relationship in the coming months.

Russia also has a quasi-military relationship with Peru, Argentina, and Nicaragua, as well as close economic ties with Mexico and Brazil. This has shaken the cage of U.S. anti-Russian paranoia over the course of the last few years.

It makes no sense that Donald Trump, a man who has killed thousands of innocent civilians in less than a year in office and also openly supports brutal dictatorships in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, would have any underlying humanitarian concerns regarding Venezuela’s current political landscape.

The U.S. is losing South America to Russia, and if the world’s superpower has to deploy its military in order to exact some freedom, liberation, and democracy – even without any prior legal justification to do so – then that is exactly what America seems intent to do.

This is not to say that Venezuela’s political climate doesn’t have problems of its own independent of the U.S and Russia or that Maduro is an ideal ruler. But those problems are for the Venezuelan people to resolve themselves as nonviolently as possible and without foreign interference. The last thing Venezuela needs is America’s military on its doorstep to brutally enforce America’s own colonial ideals on the civilian population. All that being said, the U.S. and the CIA have had a long history of interfering in South America, particularly Venezuela (which arguably gave rise to popular figures like Chavez to begin with), and we cannot afford to ignore these historical factors.

If there is anything we have learned after American-led interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria – to name but a few – it is that the world is much better off without them.

Darius Shahtahmasebi
Darius Shahtahmasebi is a New Zealand-based legal and political analyst, currently specializing in immigration, refugee and humanitarian law. Contact Darius: Support Darius' work on Patreon:

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