Trump Tells Florida Crowd ‘Something Will Happen In Venezuela’ Soon

| Educate!

Above photo: President Donald Trump speaks about the counternarcotics operations at U.S. Southern Command, July 10, 2020, in Doral, Fla. Evan Vucci | AP.

“Something will happen with Venezuela. That’s all I can tell you,” Trump said, before not-so-cryptically  adding that Washington would be “very much involved.”

On a trip to COVID-19 riddled Florida this weekend, President Donald Trump not-so-cryptically revealed that he had something big planned for Venezuela during a meeting with leaders of the U.S. military’s Southern Command. “Something will happen with Venezuela. That’s all I can tell you,” he said, before adding that Washington would be “very much involved” in what he was referencing.

On Trump’s orders, Southern Command moved large numbers of forces to the region, ostensibly to conduct a counter-narcotics operation against Venezuela, which the U.S. has described as a “narco state,” with the DEA offering a $15 million bounty for President Maduro’s head. This, despite the fact the U.S. government’s own reports on drug smuggling barely even mention Venezuela and official summaries show that U.S.-allies Colombia and Ecuador are the sources of the vast majority of South American drugs that end up in the U.S. In May, Juan Guaidó, the Washington-backed self-declared president of Venezuela, green-lighted a coup attempt led by American ex-Green Berets that ended in total failure.

Despite privately writing him off as a spent force, the “Beto O’Rourke of Venezuela,” President Trump continued to publicly back Guaidó, telling a group of hardline Venezuelan and Cuban expats in Miami-Dade County this weekend that he still “stands with the righteous leader of Venezuela.” A recent poll found that only three percent of Venezuelans recognize Guaidó as legitimate, and over 80 percent of the country say the entire opposition movement has “no credibility” whatsoever.

This weekend, Trump’s Special Advisor on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams announced brand new sanctions not just on Venezuela, which is under a virtual total blockade, but on any company found to be helping the importation of goods to the country in any way. Abrams has managed to force London-based Lloyd’s Registrar to withdraw insurance and registration to ships the U.S. deems to be helping break the blockade, meaning they are unable to dock anywhere in the world. “It’s just not worth the hassle or the risk for [companies],” he gleefully told Reuters. “There are people who don’t cooperate…We’ll go after the ship, the ship owner, the ship captain.” U.S. citizens breaking the embargo already face 30 years in prison. Thus, Abrams appears to have dusted off his Nicaragua strategy from the 1980s, where the country was sanctioned and attacked so badly that they eventually gave in and accepted the U.S.-backed candidate Violetta Chamorro as president in 1990.

Washington’s power and influence have helped bring the Venezuelan economy to a standstill, with oil exports at their lowest in modern history. The sanctions regime was formally condemned by the United Nations; an American U.N. rapporteur visiting the country and estimating that over 100,000 people have been killed as a result, declaring the U.S. guilty of “crimes against humanity.” Sanctions are a bi-partisan endeavor, beginning under President Obama in 2015, who declared a “national emergency” due to the “unusual and extraordinary threat” Venezuela was posing to the United States.

Trump’s latest move to tighten the noose even further around the necks of Venezuelans appears to be at least partially motivated by his desire to shore up the vote of the large Latin American expat vote in Southern Florida, a state where polls show he is falling further behind Joe Biden. In the 2013 election, at least 92.5 percent of Venezuelans in Florida voted against Maduro and for the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Biden has also taken a hard line on Venezuela and is attempting to out-hawk Trump on the issue. “It’s time for free and fair elections so that the Venezuelan people can turn the page on the corrupt and repressive Maduro regime,” he said, adding that, “Trump talks tough on Venezuela, but admires thugs and dictators like Nicolas Maduro. As President, I will stand with the Venezuelan people and for democracy.” Last month the largest Democratic Super PAC began running ads aimed at Latino Florida Latinos comparing Trump to Maduro, his predecessor Hugo Chavez, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. A recent poll found that only 19 percent of Venezuelans had confidence that the situation would improve in the short term. The U.S.’ latest moves suggest they would be correct in their pessimism.

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

  • Southern

    Soldiers… refuse to obey unjust orders.

    The US is going after Venezuela’s for the resources just like the Saudies are gone after Yemen’s

    In the end both serve the same master.

  • oneski

    The prospect of sending U.S. soldiers into the jungles of Venezuela must be exhilarating for the bone-spurred commander-in-chief. Both he and his education secretary’s brother have demonstrated a proclivity for sticking it to foreigners and U.S. taxpayers. U.S. hawks never tire from spreading their version of democracy.

  • iowapinko

    The war criminals at the top of the U$ military crime syndicate are overtly planning to escalate their on-going crime sprees against humanity.

    Sanctions, embargo and outright theft of the Venezuelan peoples’ resources have resulted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of human beings in pursuit of the american oil that was stolen by Venezuelan communists and hidden deeply beneath “their” soil.
    But they hold on to it, still.

    Truth is, the genocidal maniac war criminals representing both wings of the U$ political duopoly will continue their criminal terrorist acts until the U$ left or the oppressed and exploited people of the earth coalesce the determination and the strategy to stop them.

    This is genocide.

  • emernel

    This situation reminds me of the Spanish Revolution that the Nazi used to prepare their evil monsters for World War II . All young people who believe in democracy should go and help Maduro and the Venezuelan people, just like many brave men went to Spain to try and stop the fascists in the 1930’s. The Barbarians in the US must be stopped before they destroy the world.

    Down with evil Amerikkka.

    Don’t people realize that Mexico and Canada will be next if we ever get leaders who have the guts to tell the Amerikkkans “to go forth and multiply”

  • dmorista

    As a result of the disastrous Iraq War (that was justified by the false-flag September 11, 2001 terror operations), the U.S. oil majors were pretty much pushed out of their positions in the Middle East; and they had to take on much less attractive and energetically much less favorable projects in other places. They did continue taking oil from Nigeria and some

    other places in Sub-Saharan Africa; but the main push was to extract “extreme oil and gas” from the Western Hemisphere. These included the Athabascan Tar Sands from Alberta Canada, extremely deep water oil deposits in the Gulf of Mexico, various fracking areas in the U.S., and the Orinoco Oil Sands of Venezuela (the largest oil deposits in the world). All competent industry analysts predicted that the U.S. fracking boom would not last too long, a few years. The deposits were quickly exhausted and the methods were horrific in their environmental consequences. Even with advances in the techniques fracking produced very expensive oil, and eventually the Saudis saw their chance to eliminate the American frackers, with a price war. The fracking boom is over, it is collapsing into a heap of bankrupt companies, devastated communities and lands, and defaulted loans and junk bonds. Ideological fanatics and dim-witted politicians believed the “energy self-sufficiency story” peddled by the frackers and their political allies, but not hard-nosed analysts.

    The petroleum operations, owned by the super reactionary Koch interests, have steadily obtained and processed the “heavy oil”, from the Orinoco Tar Sands, at a huge refinery in the Houston area. They had hoped to change over to Athabascan Tar Sands bitumen from Alberta but the pipelines are not finished yet and may never be finished. The U.S., a laggard in the attempt to replace fossil fuels as the main energy source, and with the most private car and truck dependent transportation system in the developed world, needs a reliable supply of some type of oil.

    We are in the midst of a major change in how the world is organized and run. From 1971 – 1973 Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and John Connally engineered the end of the Bretton Woods currency arrangements when the U.S. socioeconomic system could no longer support the $35 an ounce for gold guarantee; that as a result of the costs of the S.E. Asian Wars and the declining competitiveness of domestic U.S. industrial production. The new arrangement was “the Petro-Dollar” system. The U.S. promised the Saudis that they would guard the world’s sea lanes and make sure that the huge tankers full of Saudi Oil would arrive at their ports of destination. They also encouraged the Saudis to invest their profits in U.S. Treasuries and U.S. properties and businesses. The Saudis brought the other OPEC members along with them and the new Petro-Dollar system was established and lasted until now. The U.S. ruling class also began investing heavily in moving much of U.S. industrial production to places like Mexico and China. The bill for those ruthless and hard-line measures is now coming due.

  • GypsyFreyja

    Well said.

  • RBluhm

    “Americans are used car salesmen with all the money in the world enough to buy all the weapons in the world with the willingness to use them on anyone who makes us unhappy.” or words to that effect wrote Hunter Thompson.

    It makes one sick to death of the manipulations of our viral-like “masters of the universe” ( Big Brothers) who savage the planet worse than any Covid-19 virus. They’ve been doing it forever despite the forthright testimonies of the likes of General Smedley Butler in his little book titled “War is a Racket.”

    Like a virus, we’ll consume the host and the more rapacious of us will move on into interstellar apace and sadly infect everything we come in contact with.

    “And so it goes.”

  • Nylene13

    True. Just don’t forget to include Biden.

  • Nylene13

    Interesting.

    What really needs to happen is for all countries to stop using fossil fuels, and end the Capitalist Industrial Military System.

    We need to change the way we live.

    As Bernie said-“The Environment Must Become Our Priority”

  • Nylene13

    “Biden is attempting to Out Hawk Trump on the issue”
    Are you listening Democrats?

    Time for a 3rd Party, if it is not too late.

    And to think, we could have had Bernie.

  • mmckinley

    Thank you dmorista. One of the most cogent and spot-on analyses I have read of the current big picture of neoliberal global politics. It seems Venezuela is, after all, to be a focus for the coming October surprise calculated to win the White House once again for Trump, possibly for the neoliberal fascist dictatorship of the oligarchy. Unfortunately I wonder whether there will be multiple pressure points: Iran; Murmansk and the Berents Sea, (the Arctic door to Russia and control of Arctic and North Sea oil); the South China Sea to surround China like we have surrounded Russia with NATO. Trump is mad-genius enough to launch a Hail-Mary war on the whole world, but it is the neoliberals pulling the strings who are behind it all. Decreasing world population by half or more may be just the ticket for the elite who think they can emerge unscathed as the owners of the World. Rachel Maddow and the NY Times would be just tickled by it all.

  • dmorista

    Yes you are entirely right, as far as I can tell, to enumerate the “multiple pressure points” and note that all, or at least some, could play a role in the events to come. Trump is indeed just another front-man for the forces of late finance capitalism that rule the U.S.. His job has been to fan the flames of entirely justified resentment and discontent in the U.S. but keep their thoughts and actions within the boundaries that the rulers easily know how to direct and manipulate behind-the-scenes. They want to make sure that what we have is racialized dissent and cultural populism; directed by agents of the ultra-rich that amounts to fascism. What we need is class based dissent and economic populism that plays to our traditional New Deal reform tradition.

  • ANTONIO

    SOME ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHAVISMO. Missions oriented toward literacy, land reform, jobs for everyone, high quality food at rock bottom prices, mining cooperative, retraining for job skills, free health care, dedication to the indigenous population. better and fairer prices on the world market. Oil sovereignty. The rule of law. Democracy. cronyism done away with. Fight against corruption. US military torture missions have been thrown out of the country. solidarity with other countries in floods and other disasters. No one can get fired. Reduction of poverty by 50%. Paid leave for mothers. New highways and bridges being built. Massive hydroelectric plants have been developed. Contaminated rivers have been reclaimed. Confiscation of private lands which have been turned over to the peasants. The economy had 13 consecutive trimesters of steady economic growth, until the blockade. Living standards have been raised. A telecommunications satellite has been launched. Health care is free. The average lifespan has increased. 58000 new schools have been built- drop outs have been reinstated and are getting degrees. Since the revolution Venezuela has gained more Olympic medals than before. 26 pilot telecommunications centers at the local level are being created. Information has been democratized thanks to the building of hundreds of alternative media outlets.
    This is what the US wants to destroy.

  • oneski

    Biden’s been spreading that U.S. brand democracy for better than forty years. Trump ain’t got $hit on him when it comes to abusing foreigners and taxpayers.

  • Southern

    How many years have people been telling you that Bernie has this long standing deal with the Democrats?