- Trump clarified that he only intends to speak to Maduro if he wants to leave power.
- The US is ramping up sanctions against shipping companies delivering oil to Venezuela.
- Iran has become a crucial Venezuela trade partner.
US President Donald Trump has indicated that he has little interest at the moment to influence Venezuelan politics or usurp Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power. He has also publicly pronounced that he is not particularly interested in installing opposition leader Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez.
While speaking to Axios on Sunday, he expressed openness to meeting with the besieged leader. Elaborating on his statement via Twitter, he has clarified that he only intends to speak to Maduro if he wants to leave power.
“Unlike the radical left, I will ALWAYS stand against socialism and with the people of Venezuela. My Admin has always stood on the side of FREEDOM and LIBERTY and against the oppressive Maduro regime! I would only meet with Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!”
The United States government has been pushing to have him leave the country’s leadership, and has resorted to imposing economic sanctions designed to cripple the nation and cause social unrest. As a result, Venezuela, which has an abundance of oil, has been facing an acute shortage of it in recent months because of embargoes, which prevent other nations from selling reagents needed for oil refinery processing.
The latest statement by Trump expressing his willingness to meet with Maduro was an optimistic note to the whole imbroglio. That said, however, the US president has shown little interest in installing opposition leader, Juan Guaidó. Going by his last statement, some people in his circle have supported the notion, while others have opposed it, but he isn’t on favor or against it.
“I think that I wasn’t necessarily in favor, but I said – some people that liked it, some people didn’t. I was OK with it. I don’t think it was – you know, I don’t think it was very meaningful one way or the other.” The statement is an indicator that the US government is unwilling to go to extraordinary lengths to specifically put Guaido in power. It is, however, committed to removing Maduro.
US Ramping Up Sanctions on Companies Facilitating Oil Deliveries to Venezuela
Washington has, in the past few months, added about a dozen ships to a growing sanctions list for making deliveries to Venezuela. Last week, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions targeting four shipping companies after they delivered oil to the beleaguered nation.
The move is just one among the many strategies employed by the Trump administration to pressure Maduro’s regime. Some of the companies have been struck off the list after pledging to refrain from Venezuela cargo deliveries.
Iran, which has become a crucial Venezuela trade partner, has however, largely ignored sanction warnings. It has already sent at least four ships laden with oil, and according to the latest report, it has also dispatched a food consignment to Venezuela to help ease the food shortage.
The cargo will apparently be used to stock Venezuela’s first supermarket.