Trump exerts “maximum pressure” against Venezuela to “save his skin”

The White House National Security Advisor visited Panama and Colombia, where he assured that they will continue to work with “allies” to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro

The conspiracy against Venezuela has been intensifying in recent months, especially because the president of the United States, Donald Trump, aspires to win votes for his re-election using the anti-Venezuela issue in his favor, something that so far has not paid off, as he is still trailing in the polls behind rival Joe Biden, by between 10 and 15 percentage points.

This weekend it became evident that the position against Venezuela is already beginning to radicalize in Central America, after the visit of the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to the Dominican Republic. In addition, Trump’s National Security adviser, Robert O’Brien — who replaced John Bolton — confirmed a new war strategy against the South American country in an official document.

Thus, the United States decided to deepen its interventionist actions, taking as an ‘argument’ the alleged threat posed by the Government of Nicolás Maduro for the region. But the fact is that Venezuela has been the victim — for years — of a strict total blockade imposed by Washington, the European Union and some governments subservient to the doctrines of the White House. Its objective is to suffocate the population and prevent access to medicines, food, fuel, goods and basic services, in order to make the country collapse and induce the overthrow of the Government.

A proof of this took place this Sunday, August 16, when Pompeo visited the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. The purpose of his visit was to personally certify that the new government of the right-wing politician Luis Abinader joins the group of countries that constantly sabotage Venezuela, through the blockade and the actions that directly affect the quality of life of millions of Venezuelans.

During his visit, Pompeo and Abinader — as reported in a statement by the US embassy in Santo Domingo — spoke of “opportunities to strengthen ties and collaboration between the US and the Dominican Republic in the areas of regional security and economic growth”.

“They also discussed the efforts toward the shared goal of a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela”, according to information provided by the deputy spokesman for the State Department, Cale Brown, stated the note.

In addition, Pompeo told Abidaner that the United States will continue with “the friendship and alliance” that unites both countries in their common vision of a “safer, more prosperous and democratic” Caribbean region. It is the same media position established with Colombia and the Uribe regime of Iván Duque, from where they attack Venezuela for allegedly promoting terrorism and drug trafficking, a situation that in real terms occurs in Colombian territory.

Pompeo’s visit signified the highest-level type of meeting held by a US official in a Dominican inauguration since the time of the Monroe doctrine in 1978. It is also striking that Abinader’s agenda has a meeting scheduled soon with the Chancellor of Spain, Arancha González Laya.

Maximum pressure campaign»

The radicalized stance by the United States against Venezuela was also confirmed by the National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, who officially revealed that in “the strategic framework” of a “new US policy towards Latin America” prevails a “maximum campaign pressure” against Venezuela.

The statements of O’Brien, one of Trump’s closest advisers, issued on Sunday from West Palm Beach, north of Miami, with members of the Colombian and Venezuelan community, during an act to present — as part of the campaign of Trump in Florida — the “Western Hemisphere Strategic Framework”; same that was taken to Panama and Colombia by the US advisor.

The document affirms the alleged “fight against drug trafficking”, an argument used by the United States to maintain its military presence in the region, coordinate war actions against governments not aligned with its doctrines, and protect international drug trafficking networks.

Trump’s lobby

O’Brien’s visit to Panama and Colombia also sought to “guarantee legal immigration to the United States”. It is “the first comprehensive strategy led by the White House” for Latin America in more than 15 years, since the George W. Bush administration (2001–2009).

In that sense, O’Brien confirmed that a large part of that policy for Latin America is to continue maintaining the “maximum pressure” on Maduro, who according to them has “destroyed the country and its economy and impoverished Venezuelans”.

The adviser’s statements confirm something that Mauricio Claver-Carone, Trump’s main adviser for the Americas, had anticipated: the priority of the trip to Panama and Colombia was to attack Venezuela, an issue that, he said, “worries Washington”.

Robert O’Brien

Cuba and Nicaragua are also on Trump’s list

In the aforementioned “new strategy” for Latin America and the “pressure campaign” against Venezuela, of which the document does not offer many details, the Trump administration also includes Cuba and Nicaragua as the other countries that will be attacked.

With regard to Cuba, they propose the “reversal of the disastrous policy” towards the island that Barack Obama (2009–2017) executed, which discouraged the “economic aggression and foreign political influence”, something that Trump has focused on from the beginning of his term in 2017.

The framework of the strategic plan for Latin America is based on five axes: “securing the homeland, fostering economic growth, promoting democracy and the rule of law, counteracting foreign influence and strengthening alliances with partners that thought alike”, the EFE agency reports.

Similarly, another US concern is Latin America’s growing intentions to “do deals with China on its own terms or expand and strengthen the commitment of partners that thought alike”.

On O’Brien’s visiting schedule with Claver-Carone, which includes Colombia and Panama in its first stage; the objective is to further commit these countries through alliances for military, economic and intelligence purposes associated with the sabotage of governments that are not aligned with US interests.

O’Brien, who last July tested positive for COVID-19, also travels accompanied by the head of the Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, among other government officials, to radicalize these interventionist actions.

The advisor said that Colombia is one of Washington’s “best partners” on “security issues and in the fight against drug trafficking”, despite being the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocaine and the United States the main consumer of this drug.

The document highlights that the alleged “joint anti-narcotics operations” have interrupted or seized in the last four months more than 163 metric tons of cocaine and marijuana in the region, valued at almost 4,000 million dollars, and the vast majority of it coming from Colombian territory.

Interviewed by La Voz de América, O’Brien explained that his intention is to continue promoting “change in Venezuela”. “President Trump understands that the United States must get involved in our neighborhood and he is very concerned for the people of Venezuela,” he said.

“They have enormous resources and one of the largest oil reserves”

Trump’s adviser did not hide at any time why so much interest in “helping” Venezuelans, whom he described as “an innovative people, who work hard and have a great country” and who also “have enormous natural resources in Venezuela, and one of the largest oil reserves in the world that rivals Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East”.

For these obvious reasons, O’Brien explained that his agenda in Panama and Colombia included addressing “the situation” in Venezuela and continuing to work “with allies” to overthrow the government of Maduro, elected in 2018 after winning the presidential elections with more than 60% of the votes.

“We do not have a bigger ally than Colombia in the region”, stressed O’Brien, who said that with Iván Duque he laid the foundations for a new binational cooperation program called Colombia Growth, a kind of renewal version of Plan Colombia that brought so much misery, tortures, murders, massacres, disappearances and forced displacements to that country, at the same time that it increased drug trafficking and paramilitarism.

According to O’Brien, the aforementioned plan seeks to “strengthen strategic sectors of the post-COVID-19 economy, as well as to contribute to the fight against drugs that the two countries are waging”, a strategy spanning several decades that has made Colombia the leading exporter of cocaine, with a priority market in the United States.

For his part, Duque said he supports the United States’ plan with regard to Venezuela and his desire for the “end of the Maduro era”. He also added that he will not recognize the Venezuelan parliamentary elections on December 6, which are required to be held by constitutional mandate.

“We will not recognize any electoral process that could affect the institution that we have legitimately recognized as the National Assembly (…) Because if we do not recognize the dictatorship, much less will we recognize an electoral process organized by the dictatorship”, said Duque, pleasing the US spokesperson but leaving in evidence that he does not know what is established by the Constitution and the Venezuelan electoral processes.

O’Brien’s visit to Colombia was preceded by a stop in Panama, where, with the Government of Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo, he made an alliance for the FBI to train in that Central American country “agents to combat money laundering and corruption”.

O’Brien also signed in Panama the delivery of more than four million dollars for “humanitarian and health assistance”, in support of Panama’s response to COVID-19.

Meanwhile in Bogotá, Trump’s adviser said that the US plans to deliver an additional 42 million dollars to the 30 already disbursed for “actions to rebuild the economy”, but not before clarifying that this amount is additional to the 30 million given to the Duque administration.

O’Brien also recalled that during the current health emergency due to the coronavirus, the United States already gave Duque 10 million for “small and medium industries” and two million more for “food aid”.

The Citizen is a newspaper focused on quality articles on politics and culture of America and the whole world

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