Venezuela Is Trump’s Next Target for Military Action

As President Donald Trump’s relationship with North Korea dominates the headlines, it is easy to forget about another international crisis looming on the horizon: Venezuela.

In fact, it may be coming to head, as Trump has recently indicated. In a statement made at his golf club, the president explained that he’s “not going to rule out a military option” for Venezuela.

But why is this even on the table?

Since the death of polarizing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2013, the country has gradually slid into turmoil under the rule of successor Nicolas Maduro. Both Chavez and Maduro belong to the United Socialist Party, or PSUV, which has great deal of fervent supporters and critics alike.

In more recent times, Maduro has been accused of failing to preserve Venezuela’s relative prosperity. Between his government’s mismanagement and the economic isolation imposed upon it by much of the world — including the United States — the country has descended into a severe fiscal crisis, leaving Venezuelan children without food.

This has motivated discontents to take to the streets and denounce Maduro while demanding fundamental reform within Venezuela’s leadership. Sadly, these demonstrations have resulted in severe police repression, including over 100 deaths.

Rather than listen to these legitimate grievances, Maduro’s government has taken shocking steps toward expanding his authority. And that move has only encouraged Venezuelan opposition to continue to protest and riot, as these developments appear to reinforce their worst fears about Maduro.

Given that civil war could be in Venezuela’s future — in an ominous development, an opposition group recently pilfered military weaponry – the international community cannot simply play spectator. So what should be done?

Though Trump seems to agree that action must be taken, his approach is alarming, at best. On Friday he remarked that the U.S. military may be deployed in Venezuela against Maduro.

Stunned by Trump’s strong language, Maduro’s government reached out to the White House to propose a diplomatic phone call, though it was promptly refused.

A number of Latin American nations, including Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Peru, have spoken out against Trump’s remarks. Though these countries represent some of most outspoken critics of the Maduro government, they claim a military intervention from the United States would only destabilize the region.

Speaking from Colombia, Vice President Mike Pence made clear his support for Trump regarding Venezuela.

And even if Trump’s remarks are little more than posturing, they may have very serious repercussions — particularly ones that run counter to his aim. When faced with the threat of a foreign invasion, Venezuelans who are not actively participating in either side of the political strife may be more compelled to line up behind Maduro — after all, he’s currently the leader with a military backing him.

Put simply, Trump has in a few short comments likely helped empower Maduro when the Venezuelan president needed it most. But it should be no surprise that the President Trump is oblivious to the potential for this outcome; he has repeatedly demonstrated his utter inability to comprehend geopolitical and diplomatic nuance.

Though the world cannot sit idly by and watch Venezuela slide into a potentially violent civil war, the United States also cannot act unilaterally — this is the purpose of the United Nations. And though the UN completely dropped the ball in Syria, the crisis in Venezuela presents an opportunity to not repeat the mistakes of the recent past.

If President Trump is truly concerned about human rights in Venezuela, he needs to take his case to the UN — not spout ill-considered threats from his golf club.

Photo Credit: Senado Federal / Wikimedia Commons

46 comments

Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thanks

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE3 months ago

Why cant countries try to clean their own back yards before attacking other countries.

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Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

Make peace, not war!

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

As they said about Kuwait, if Venezuela grew carrots....

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

What business would it be of USA's if a different country is corrupt?

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