Sept 29, 2018
The Trump administration and some others in the U.S. government have sent some not-so-subtle hints lately that they are open to a military invasion of Venezuela to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
“It’s a regime that frankly could be toppled very quickly by the military, if the military decides to do that,”President Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
The words seem to offer some encouragement for a coup, which may not come as a surprise because the New York Times published an investigation in early September that found that the Trump administration met secretly with Venezuelan military officers over the last year to discuss an overthrow of Maduro.
Venezuela is in tatters and there have been previous signs that Maduro’s grip is tenuous, including the renegade helicopter pilot earlier this year and the bizarre scene in which drones exploded during a military parade in August near Maduro.
In other words, the threat of a coup has been rising for some time.
But more recently, there have been louder murmurings in Washington and beyond. Bloomberg noted that Fernando Cutz, a former member of the National Security Council, said that a multilateral military invasion of Venezuela might be the best solution. Also, some prominent Venezuelan dissidents and former officials have supported regime change. Florida Senator Marco Rubio said there is a “very strong argument” for such a move. Then there were Trump’s comments in New York at the UN.
Some cautious, but notably receptive comments to an invasion or coup came from officials at the Organization of American States and in the Colombian government, Bloomberg pointed out. Also, Trump is expected to bring in some officials to his government that are notably hawkish in regards to Venezuela.
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