Trump threatens Venezuela with military intervention

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2017

"President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

It also contradicted high-level administration officials, including Trump's own national security adviser, who had warned that any perception of US intervention would stir decades' old resentments and play into Maduro's hands.

Venezuela's Information Minister Vladimir Villegas on Saturday tweeted a picture of the Statue of Liberty holding a machine gun instead of a torch, and a link to an article describing, "A Chronology of U.S".

Well before Maduro himself responded, governments in Latin America with a long memory of USA interventions were quick to express alarm over what sounded to them like saber-rattling.

After the election, the United States slapped a string of sanctions on Venezuelan individuals involved in the creation of the ANC, including Maduro, who later rebuffed the measure that targeted him personally.

On Aug. 4, Venezuela raised alarms in the region when it installed a National Constituent Assembly, a body with all-encompassing powers that will rewrite the constitution.

According to Suarez, the US military option in Venezuela could be carried out under the pretext of a "humanitarian intervention".

According to the minister, Trump's real aim is not Venezuela, but the whole Latin American continent, which he wants to see in turmoil.

"What Trump said somehow opens up all the options that have been assessed by Washington regarding Venezuela", Suarez said.

It was a concern raised by Trump's own national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, in a recent interview. Instead he may now be forced to do damage control, said Christopher Sabatini, executive director of Global Americans, a website focused on USA policy in the region.

The 545-member assembly, which has the rights to amend the constitution and reorganize the government, "aims to fix the malfunction" plaguing the country's governing system, according to Delcy Rodriguez, the recently elected president of the new legislative body. Maduro himself and on Friday refused to take a call Mr. "The president and the vice president have discussed the trip in depth and are totally aligned on the president's message to Venezuela and Latin America overall", said the spokesman, Jarrod Agen. The moves have sparked violent protests.

And a week ago, the Mercosur bloc of nations - led by Argentina, Brazil and Chile - indefinitely suspended Venezuela from the group, urging the country to release political prisoners and return to democracy. -Latin American relations, and tour the Panama Canal.

"Once again the sending the vice president to deal with Latin America", said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

"I think they consider Pence more predictable and measured", she said.

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