Categories for Venezuela

32,559. 2/7/2020

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “RT @marcorubio: Last night at the #SOTU2020 two things were very clear: 1. ⁦@POTUS⁩ is firmly committed to helping #Venezuela restore its…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, February 7, 2020 7:42 am

28,362. 9/12/2019

NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/VENEZUELA: “President Donald Trump on Thursday [9-12-19] again claimed former national security adviser John Bolton, well-known for his hawkish impulses and inclination toward military intervention, was in fact ‘holding me back’ on certain matters of foreign policy…The president’s post was in response to a message from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who wrote online Thursday morning that he had spoken with Trump regarding Venezuela…Among his other international priorities atop the National Security Council, Bolton had championed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s attempted overthrow of Maduro — a regime change that remains unfulfilled eight months after the administration formally recognized Guaidó as the South American nation’s legitimate ‘interim president.’ Trump, who announced Bolton’s resignation on Tuesday, asserted to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that he regularly backed a more hardline brand of foreign policy than his ex-aide.”

Quint Forgey, “Trump claims Bolton was ‘holding me back!’,” Politico, September 12, 2019 2:45 pm

28,359. 9/12/2019

CUBA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “In fact, my views on Venezuela, and especially Cuba, were far stronger than those of John Bolton. He was holding me back! https://t.co/FUGc02xiac 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 12, 2019 12:22 pm

28,219. 9/8/2019

IVANKA/TRUMP FAMILY/VENEZUELA: “RT @VP: Thank you @IvankaTrump for continuing to show America’s support for the people of Venezuela! We will not stop fighting until they h…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 8, 2019 3:00 pm

28,218. 9/8/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “RT @JessicaDitto45: ‘We stand with the people of Venezuela in their struggle to restore democracy, freedom and rule of law. It was deeply m…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 8, 2019 2:58 pm

27,215. 8/6/2019

SANCTIONS/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “An international summit meeting on Tuesday [8-6-19] that was meant to break the political stalemate in Venezuela became a one-sided showcase for the United States’ toughest sanctions yet on President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian regime. During the conference of more than 50 countries in Lima, Peru, the Trump administration rejected compromises proposed by international mediators and some Latin American nations as it doubled down on its so-called maximum pressure policy to oust Mr. Maduro. Mr. Maduro’s government wasn’t invited, prompting his allies — Cuba, China, Russia and Turkey — to decline the invitation to the meeting…The escalating American sanctions come amid a stalemate between Mr. Maduro and the head of Venezuela’s opposition movement, Juan Guaidó. Both men claim to lead the troubled country. Mr. Trump’s support was essential to Mr. Guaidó’s international acceptance this year as Venezuela’s rightful leader.”

Anatoly Kurmanaev and Lara Jakes, “With Tougher U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela, Bolton Says ‘Now is the Time for Action’,” The New York Times online, August 6, 2019

27,182. 8/5/2019

TRUMP BUSINESS/VENEZUELA: “Years before President Donald Trump embarked on a campaign to oust Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, the real estate mogul’s business was selling condominiums to the strongman’s supporters. At least half a dozen Venezuelans linked to either Maduro or his predecessor, dictator Hugo Chávez, purchased Trump condos in New York City and South Florida prior to Trump becoming president, according to property records. Several of the individuals faced serious allegations of — and even pleaded guilty to — the type of financial fraud in Venezuela that Trump now regularly decries. While the sales themselves weren’t illegal, the buyers’ backgrounds and purchase methods made the transactions suspicious, according to financial fraud experts. They noted that many of the purchases were made above the apparent market value, fully in cash or using shell companies to obscure identities — all potential signs of money laundering, the experts said.”

Anita Kumar, “Real estate mogul Trump sold condos to regime-connected Venezuelans,” Politico, August 5, 2019 5:15 am

26,124. 6/28/2019

ELECTION/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “The Trump administration turned up the pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday [6-28-19] by targeting his son Nicolas ‘Nicolasito’ Maduro with sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said. The new sanctions are the latest push in six months of efforts to oust Maduro, whose 2018 re-election has been deemed illegitimate by the United States and most Western nations. Maduro’s son has been involved in propaganda and censorship, has profited from Venezuelan mines, and helped pressure the military to keep humanitarian aid out of the country, the Treasury Department said…Washington has thrown its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who invoked the country’s constitution in January to declare himself interim president. Maduro has retained the backing of the country’s military and other institutions, and calls Guaido a Washington puppet. The new sanctions come as Trump holds a series of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the G20.”

Roberta Rampton, “Trump administration targets Maduro’s son ‘Nicolasito’ with sanctions,” Reuters, June 28, 2019 8:54 am

25,931. 6/21/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “President Donald Trump has long talked a big game when it comes to standing up to U.S. adversaries. He’s threatened ‘fire and fury’ against North Korea, hinted at military action in Venezuela and warned that he could bring about the ‘official end of Iran.’ But, when faced with evidence of nefarious activities by such countries and pushed by hawkish advisers to mount a military response, Trump keeps stepping back from the ledge. The president’s latest move, canceling an imminent U.S. military strike against Iran after Tehran shot down a U.S. drone, risks creating a ‘Boy who cried ‘wolf!’’ scenario: Trump’s future threats may not be taken seriously and adversaries could dangerously miscalculate how he will react, former U.S. officials and analysts across the political spectrum warned…Trump came to the White House 2½ years ago from the bombastic world of New York real estate and the illusionist stage of reality TV. But his apparent hopes that rhetoric and threats of military action would bully America’s adversaries into caving to his demands have yet to produce the desired results, despite Trump’s claims to the contrary.”

Nahal Toosi, “Trump smothers his own military threats,” Politico, June 21, 2019 4:08 pm

25,645. 6/12/2019

RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday [6-12-19] renewed his assertion that Russia had pulled personnel out of Venezuela, pushing back on Moscow’s denials that it had any plans to do so. Trump last week tweeted that Russia ‘has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela,’ where it’s backed the government of dictator Nicolas Maduro. A day later, the Kremlin denied Trump’s tweet, telling reporters ‘there have been no official messages in this regard from the Russian side nor could there be any,’ according to The Washington Post. But Trump on Wednesday asserted he was not mistaken…After a pause, during which another reporter began asking a new question, Trump interrupted: ‘Ultimately I’m always right’…The Trump administration has repeatedly warned that use of military force to oust Maduro was never off the table, and despite appearing close to a military conflict at times, the White House has battled Moscow in a war of words over its involvement in the country. The White House has accused Russia of using Cuban forces as a front there in order to bolster their foothold in the Western Hemisphere, something Russia has also denied.”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump on Russia dispute: ‘Ultimately I’m always right’,” Politico, June 12, 2019 2:03 pm

25,069. 5/17/2019

CUBA/ECONOMY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “The battle for Cuba’s economic future is being waged on its beaches. And at its all-inclusive resorts, dive sites and cobblestoned colonial plazas. As most of Cuba’s economy stagnates or declines, the country has launched a full-scale effort to turn virtually the only bright spot — tourism — into an engine that can drag the rest of the communist island through its worst economic crisis in two decades. In government meetings and propaganda, it has now set a goal of drawing 5 million tourists in 2019 — perhaps the modern-day equivalent of its Soviet-era dependence on the annual sugar-harvest production…Across the Florida Straits, the Trump administration is intently focused on scaling back tourism to the island as part of a campaign to smother the Cuban economy and force its government to sever ties with President Nicolás Maduro’s government in Venezuela. Trump recently activated a section of the 1996 U.S. law known as Helms-Burton, allowing lawsuits against foreign companies doing business on properties confiscated after the island’s socialist revolution.”

Andrea Rodriguez, “Cuba still welcoming tourists despite Trump restrictions,” USA Today, May 17, 2019 3:49 pm

24,761. 5/9/2019

IRAN/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/VENEZUELA: “U.S. President Donald Trump, facing the possibility of military confrontations with both Iran and Venezuela, said on Thursday [5-9-19] that he sometimes serves as a counterbalance to his hard-charging national security adviser, John Bolton. Bolton has been a key player in current U.S. standoffs with Iran and Venezuela, both instances in which the United States has not ruled out the use of force to protect American interests. A statement announcing a U.S. naval force to the Gulf region was issued under Bolton’s name. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump has privately complained that Bolton is pushing an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires. Some Trump advisers have told Reuters in the past that they were concerned Bolton was sometimes pushing his own agenda rather than what the president would prefer. The president was asked about Bolton at an impromptu news conference in the White House Roosevelt Room on Thursday.”

Steve Holland, “Trump says Bolton doing a good job but has to temper him,” Reuters, May 9, 2019 12:03 pm

24,755. 5/8/2019

CHINA/FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “Shortly before he was sworn in as president, Donald J. Trump vowed that the United States would stop ‘racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.’ He promised to end ‘this destructive cycle of intervention and chaos.’ Two and a half years into his presidency, Mr. Trump is enthusiastically calling for the toppling of one regime, in Venezuela, and energetically undermining another, in Iran. His administration’s escalating economic and political pressure on both countries — alongside a reignited trade war with China — has raised tensions in two hemispheres to the highest levels since Mr. Trump took the oath of office. It is not just that the president is pushing policies he once denounced. He has yet to articulate a coherent theory for when the United States should push for such change and when it should avoid it.”

Mark Landler, “With Mix of Threats and Blandishments, Trump Bandies Policy of Regime Change,” The New York Times online, May 8, 2019

24,597. 5/3/2019

MIKE POMPEO/MILITARY/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday [5-2-19] that the Trump administration ‘will simply not rule out’ military action in Venezuela. And on Friday [5-3-19], Trump administration officials met for the second day in a row at the Pentagon to discuss options for toppling the country’s embattled autocratic leader. Speaking to reporters back in March, national security adviser John Bolton held a yellow notepad with a line of text conspicuously visible: ‘5,000 troops to Colombia,’ he had written. Together, the actions and planning meetings — one of them held in ‘the Tank,’ the Pentagon’s most secure room — are part of a threatening drumbeat aimed at Nicolás Maduro, who, U.S. officials say, may be on the brink of ouster…But on a day when Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose backing of Maduro is causing tensions with the U.S., Trump officials and national security experts said mounting talk of U.S. military action is almost certainly hollow. Two U.S. officials told POLITICO these actions are designed more to rattle Maduro — and Venezuelan military leaders who have been a key source of support for him — than to foreshadow an American military effort in Venezuela.”

Eliana Johnson and Wesley Morgan, “Trump team tries to rattle Maduro with military tough talk,” Politico, May 3, 2019 7:42 pm

24,552. 5/1/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “I am continuing to monitor the situation in Venezuela very closely. The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom! https://t.co/rtGfjQjc1u

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, May 1, 2019 9:53 pm

24,537. 5/1/2019

RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “The Trump administration is tumbling into a proxy battle with Russia over Venezuela, the latest international standoff that threatens a return to the tense Cold War years. The two sides traded barbed accusations this week after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on the public and the military to rise up and oust autocrat Nicolás Maduro. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened military action and accused Russia of persuading Maduro to cling to office instead of fleeing to Cuba amid growing street protests. Russia, in turn, chided Pompeo for spreading ‘fakes’ as part of an ‘information war.’ The disagreement spilled into a phone call Wednesday between the two countries’ top diplomats — a U.S. description shows Pompeo chastising Russia for its ‘destabilizing’ behavior, while the Kremlin’s recounting details its foreign minister blasting America’s actions as ‘the rudest violation of international law.’ The face-off, which also involves Cuba backing Maduro, is a potentially explosive confrontation between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin as the president heads into his reelection bid.”

Nahal Toosi, “Venezuela becomes Trump’s latest proxy battle with Russia,” Politico, May 1, 2019 7:33 pm

24,446. 4/30/2019

CUBA/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “If Cuban Troops and Militia do not immediately CEASE military and other operations for the purpose of causing death and destruction to the Constitution of Venezuela, a full and complete….” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 30, 2019 4:09 pm

24,444. 4/30/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “I am monitoring the situation in Venezuela very closely. The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 30, 2019 1:23 pm

24,439. 4/30/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “President Donald Trump and his top aides on Tuesday [4-30-19] swiftly endorsed an attempted government takeover in Venezuela, where opposition leaders backed by a band of rebellious soldiers are trying to oust strongman Nicolás Maduro. The day’s events were extraordinary by many measures; the U.S. even asserted that Maduro had a plane ready to fly him to Havana, but that Russia had persuaded him to stay. Supporting the uprising is a risky proposition for Trump, who also used the occasion to threaten Cuba over its support of Maduro. The Venezuelan dictator retains the loyalty of many of his military generals, and he may survive the power struggle despite claims by Trump aides that some high-level Venezuelan officials conspired with the opposition to turn against their leader. Many Latin Americans also resent America’s history of backing coups throughout the region. And Russia is helping prop up Maduro, adding to the situation’s complexity. But should Maduro fall, Trump can claim a political and even moral victory as the 2020 elections loom, saying that months of pressure from his administration — pressure that earned support from many Democrats — helped liberate starving Venezuelans from an autocrat who destroyed their oil-blessed country’s economy.”

Nahal Toosi, “Trump team jumps to support Venezuela uprising,” Politico, April 30, 2019 11:44 am

23,766. 4/5/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “RT @VP: The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, and freedom has the momentum. Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 5, 2019 6:09 pm

23,702. 4/3/2019

CENTRAL AMERICA/FOREIGN AID/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “The Trump administration is preparing an economic relief package for Venezuela that would put United States dollars directly into the hands of Venezuelans in the event that the government of President Nicolás Maduro falls. Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, disclosed the outlines of the plan on Wednesday as he called on Mr. Maduro to step aside and allow Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader whom the United States recognizes as Venezuela’s interim president, to take office. Plans for a comprehensive aid package for Venezuela come as President Trump is cutting aid to other countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, out of frustration over the way those nations have handled their migration policies. Mr. Trump has also threatened to cut funding to Puerto Rico, a United States territory, over its handling of federal hurricane relief funds…Venezuela has been crippled for years by hyperinflation and a failing economy that has led millions to flee for Colombia and other countries. The nation has been further disrupted since January, when opposition political leaders refused to acknowledge as legitimate the re-election of Mr. Maduro. The United States has thrown its support behind Mr. Guaidó, who declared himself interim president that month.”

Alan Rappeport, “Trump Prepares Aid Package for Venezuela in Case Maduro Government Falls,” The New York Times online, April 3, 2019

23,609. 4/1/2019

RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “During his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump often complained about how President Barack Obama drew red lines that he never enforced, and how a diminished America let Russia walk into Syria unchallenged, something he said would not happen if the Russian leader respected the United States president. Now, in Venezuela, President Trump is facing his own red-line moment — again, with Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. For the past week, the Trump administration has escalated its warnings about Russian intervention in the country, claiming that Moscow is helping to prop up President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and undermining the hopes of American officials that the Venezuelan military will oust him. The United States has been trying to rally the world behind Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader, as Venezuela’s legal interim president. On Monday [4-1-19] morning, speaking at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said flatly, ‘Russia’s got to leave Venezuela.’”

David E. Sanger, “Trump, Putin and a Possible ‘Red-Line Moment’ in Venezuela,” The New York Times online, April 1, 2019

23,573. 3/29/2019

RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday [3-29-19] he will probably talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping about the crisis in Venezuela. ‘We will probably be talking at some point,’ Trump told reporters after the White House warned Russia and other countries backing President Nicolas Maduro against sending troops and military equipment to Venezuela. ‘I’ll be talking to a lot of people – perhaps President Putin, perhaps President Xi of China,’ Trump said.” 

Reuters Staff, “Trump says will probably talk to Russia’s Putin about Venezuela,” Reuters, March 29, 2019 1:43 pm

23,500. 3/27/2019

MILITARY/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday [3-27-19] that Russian soldiers needed to leave Venezuela, days after a Russian military contingent arrived just outside of Caracas, saying ‘all options’ were open to make that happen. ‘Russia has to get out,’ Trump told reporters during a meeting with the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. Asked how that could be accomplished, Trump said: ‘We’ll see. All options are open.’”

Reuters, “Trump Says Russian Military Must Leave Venezuela,” The New York Times online, March 27, 2019

23,382. 3/20/2019

BRAZIL/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “In the past month alone, Brazil has called for a regime change in Venezuela. Iraq is inching forward in discussions with the Kurds. Mexico has threatened to not ratify the new NAFTA. Turkey threatened to nullify local election results. Thailand has passed a troubling cybersecurity law that alarms human rights activists. Guess what? At a time of growing global tensions, the United States does not have a single appointed ambassador on the ground in one of these countries. In fact, close to 80  senior leadership posts at the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. international affairs agencies are vacant. More than 40 of those posts have nominees pending before the Senate, while at least 35 critical leadership positions await a nominee from the White House. Two years into this administration and at the start of a new Congress, this crisis is both an unforced error and a unilateral disarmament of our civilian forces, with significant risks to our national security. It is time to stop blaming either end of Pennsylvania Avenue and swiftly move forward on diplomatic nominations and confirmations, especially given the backdrop of China trade talks and nuclear tensions with North Korea.”

Liz Schrayer, “Global tensions rise while too many U.S. diplomats are MIA. Trump and Congress, get on it.,” USA Today, March 20, 2019 9:44 am