As Venezuela attempts to re-start a political process based on the results of the recent vote to seat a new Constituent Assembly which will be the countries highest legislative body, the US continues to enact measures intended to disrupt the process.
Recent, the US issued sanctions directly on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other Venezuelan nationals and.
Shortly thereafter US President Trump stated that he is considering military action against the oil rich South American nation, a threat Venezuela called “crazy”.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded with an outright condemnation of Trump’s stabber rattling saying that Russia stands totally opposed to war on Venezuela.
Yesterday, Trump signed an executive order issuing a further round of all-encompassing sanctions on Caracas which would hit individuals and entities dealing in new Venezuelan sovereign debt and equity as well as that associated with government controlled Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.
In a brief statement the White House called Venezuela a “dictatorship”. The statement was later Tweeted by US Vice President Pence.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) August 25, 2017
Speaking at the United Nations, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stated that the sanctions are the “worst act of aggression against Venezuela in 200 years”.
He further stated,
“Perhaps the United States is trying to promote a humanitarian crisis in our country. What do they want? Do they want to kill the Venezuelans with hunger?
These threats of sanctions are not against individuals, they are against the Venezuelan people, they are against their economy, they are against their welfare and we will not allow them. The United States is not going to provoke a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
We will ask the Secretary General and the General Assembly of the United Nations to take a stand on these unusual, anachronistic, hostile, unfriendly threats that we can not accept under any circumstances.
I hope President Trump and his government understand that this is the world of dialogue, not the world of wars”.
Venezuela foreign minister Jorge Arreaza on US sanctions: "Do they want to starve the Venezuelan people?" pic.twitter.com/r1989ecfcI
— Helen Corbett (@helenpcorbett) August 25, 2017
In comparison with North Korea or Iran, Venezuela is less able to defend itself against US military aggression. It’s military is less trained than either North Korea or Iran and lacks the weaponry of either, especially North Korea whose nuclear arsenal has proved to serve as a deterrent to a renewed US invasion.
Because of this, there remains a danger that the US will not limit itself to political and economic meddling in Venezuela but may eventually pull the military trigger.
As I wrote recently in The Duran,
“From a propaganda angle, a so-called regime change war on Venezuela would be far less impactful than one on North Korea. Fewer Americans see Venezuela as a cartoon villain vis-a-vis North Korea and furthermore, much of the US based Latin American community would resent a war against a smaller Latin American country, especially a war waged by Donald Trump who has terrible PR among Latin Americans.
From a military point of view as well as a political perspective, it would however be a safe option. Venezuela’s armed forces cannot complete with those of the US and since Russia closed its base in Cuba in the year 2002, Latin America is from a military point of view, an American peninsula, even though politically the United States has lost tremendous amounts of clout over the last decades as many far-right dictatorships across Latin America have fallen to democratic socialist governments.
While Russia and China would likely condemn such a war, they would not participate in the conflict as they might do in Korea”.