U.S. President Barack Obama recently referred to Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat to the national security” as the White House imposed sanctions against seven officials accused of human rights and other violations.
The action was promptly condemned by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who suggested his country should get ready for military aggression from the United States.
The rhetorical escalation did not come as a surprise for observers who have pointed out that despite the war of words the U.S. continues to buy Venezuelan oil, but its timing seems to be at odds with the recent changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba, which many interpreted as a breaking point in the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America.
Was it a strategic mistake on behalf of the Obama administration? What prompted these sanctions? What are the implications for the upcoming Americas Summit to be held in Panama?
To better understand these latest developments, Elaine Reyes sat down with CCTV political analyst Laura Carlsen.