Trump turns up pressure on Venezuela’s military

World Today

U.S. President Donald Trump is putting new pressure on Venezuela’s military to try to break the deadlock in the country’s political crisis.

Their loyalty to President Nicolas Maduro is keeping U.S. humanitarian aid stalled at the Colombian border as Washington tries to dislodge him.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

U.S. President Donald Trump had an ultimatum for security forces playing a critical role in Venezuela’s leadership crisis.

“You cannot hide from the choice that now confronts you,” Trump told a crowd of Venezuelan – American nationals in Miami. “You can choose to accept President Guaidó’s generous offer of amnesty to live your life in peace with your families and your countrymen. President Guaidó does not seek retribution against you and neither do we.” 

Venezuela’s military has been blocking U.S. humanitarian aid from entering the country, where rampant hyperinflation has contributed to food and medical shortages.

Officers remain loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, whose re-election was denounced as fraudulent by opponents.

The U.S. and most Western countries now recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president. 

Russia and China back an outcome negotiated by Venezuela’s government and opposition.

If Maduro doesn’t open the border by Feb. 23, Guaidó is mobilizing volunteer caravans to bring the aid in.

But ousting Maduro is only one part of a wider U.S. agenda Trump outlined in Florida, home to the largest Venezuelan diaspora in the U.S.

 “A new day is coming In Latin America,” Trump said. “In Venezuela and across the Western Hemisphere socialism is dying and liberty prosperity and democracy are being reborn.”

But the most pressing issue remains how to supply Venezuelans in the middle of a power struggle with the basics to survive.

Arturo Lopez Levy discusses Trump’s Venezuela address

Arturo Lopez Levy, an Assistant professor of international relations at Gustavus Adolphus College, discusses the Venezuelan political crisis with CGTN’s Sean Callebs.