Friday, May 24, 2019

Trump Administration threatens Cuba over involvement in Venezuela

President Trump tweeted yesterday that he would impose “a full and complete embargo” on Cuba if the island doesn’t withdraw its security aid from 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 embargo, together with highest-level sanctions, will be placed on the island of Cuba. Hopefully, all Cuban soldiers will promptly and peacefully return to their island!” the president tweeted.

The tweets come as the Trump administration has thrown its support behind an apparent coup in Venezuela, where supporters of leader Juan Guaidó have taken to the streets in an attempt to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government. The Trump administration has made Venezuelan regime change a top foreign policy priority and blamed Cuba for propping up Maduro’s embattled government.

The two countries have a long-standing alliance that has seen the Caribbean island nation deploy as many as 20,000 medical and security personnel to Venezuela in exchange for oil. Trump’s tweet comes after national security adviser John Bolton said “all options are on the table” regarding U.S. support of Guaidó’s claim on the presidency.

Bolton, who coined the moniker “Troika of Tyranny” to describe the administration’s rivals in the Western Hemisphere — Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua — also told reporters earlier on Tuesday that “Cuban-directed thugs” are helping prop up Maduro’s government. “The Cubans, we believe, have played a very significant role in propping Maduro up today, possibly with help from the Russians. That’s the speculation,” said Bolton.

THE HILL

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