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Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” meddles in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua

by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout

Part 4 - Why is Team Trump intent on sanctions and regime change?

Why is Trump’s troika so intent on regime change in Venezuela and sanctions in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua?

Last month, Bolton addressed the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association on the 58th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which the U.S. aided and abetted a failed attempt to overthrow Cuba’s Fidel Castro. “Together, we can finish what began on those beaches,” Bolton said, adding, “We must reject the forces of communism and socialism in this hemisphere.

It’s not simply anti-communism that animates the Trump administration’s fixation on sanctions and regime change in these Latin American countries. “With at least a half-million voters who were born in Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia or Nicaragua — and more with ancestral roots in those countries — it’s a constituency that could prove pivotal in November 2020 in a state that’s essential to Trump’s reelection fortunes,” Marc Caputo wrote at Politico.

U.S. strategies on Cuba and Venezuela intertwine in an insidious way, and Senator Rubio is pivotal in both. “Venezuela is really an extension of the position on Cuba,” according to Ricardo Herrera, director of the Cuba Study Group. The Wall Street Journal reports that both countries are part of a plan to reassert U.S. dominance in Latin America and finally destroy the Cuban Revolution.

Moreover, corporate America wants to get its hands on Venezuela’s oil. Bolton said in January, “We’re in conversation with major American companies now…. It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.

Veterans for Peace issued a statement calling on U.S. troops to resist illegal orders to invade Venezuela, noting, “While President Trump speaks of supporting democracy in Venezuela and Latin America, the real purpose of the U.S. assault on the Venezuelan government is to fully open the vast Venezuelan oil reserves to U.S. and other Western oil corporations as well as to destroy progressive governments in Latin America that put their own peoples’ needs above the profits of foreign corporations.

Although there is opposition to Maduro’s policies in Venezuela, people don’t want the United States to impose its will on them. Eva Golinger, former adviser to Hugo Chavez, told Democracy Now! that “certainly, there are many in Venezuela who would hope for change in their country, but they don’t want a U.S.-backed regime in place. They don’t want a far-right-imposed regime that answers to foreign interests, which is what we’re seeing take place in the country.

On May 1, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), also appearing on Democracy Now!, said, “A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela,” adding, “this particularly bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.”

Many in Congress and the corporate media walk in lockstep with the administration on its Venezuela strategy. On April 3, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to recognize Guaidó as the president of Venezuela.

Instead, Congress should pass H.R.1004, the Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act, which would forbid the use of U.S. military force in Venezuela without explicit congressional authorization. This bill is now pending in the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. People can contact their representatives and urge them to co-sponsor and support H.R.1004.

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