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BANGKOK 21 March 2019 12:20
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Trump urges Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro or 'lose everything'

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Trump urges Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro or 'lose everything'

By Steve Holland

 

2019-02-18T231810Z_1_LYNXNPEF1H16K_RTROPTP_4_VENEZUELA-POLITICS-TRUMP.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the crisis in Venezuela during a visit to Florida International University in Miami, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

 

MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned members of Venezuela's military who remain loyal to socialist President Nicolas Maduro that they are risking their future and their lives and urged them to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

 

Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants in Miami, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, "you will find no safe harbour, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything.”

 

Maduro retaliated late on Monday that Trump's speech was "nazi-style" and said he acted as if he were the owner of Venezuela and its citizens his slaves.

 

Trump offered strong backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the United States, many of Venezuela's neighbours and most Western countries have recognised as interim president of Venezuela.

 

But Maduro, who won a second term last year in an election that critics denounced as a sham, retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security services.

 

Trump cautioned Venezuelan armed forces not to harm Guaido or other opposition politicians, urged them to accept the National Assembly leader's offer of amnesty and demanded that they allow in food, medicine and other supplies.

 

Guaido, who invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself the country's leader last month, has said that aid will enter Venezuela from neighbouring countries by land and sea on Saturday.

 

The United States has sent tons of aid that is being stockpiled on Colombia's border with Venezuela, but Maduro has refused to let it in.

Maduro calls the aid a U.S.-orchestrated show and denies any crisis despite many Venezuelans' scant access to food and medicine.

 

"We will not make of the honourable Venezuela a Venezuela of beggars," he said in televised comments on Monday. "We will not accept it."

 

Maduro said Venezuela already received "humanitarian assistance" on a daily basis. Russia, for example, was sending 300 tonnes of aid to the country by plane on Wednesday, he said, albeit clarifying this was not a donation but supplies for which Venezuela had paid.

 

BROAD ATTACK ON SOCIALISM

“We seek a peaceful transition of power but all options are open," Trump said. It was a further hint of Trump's repeated insistence that military options remain on the table, though most Latin America experts believe such action is unlikely.The United States has had direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon Maduro, a senior White House official told Reuters this month, and Trump's aides have openly predicted more defections.

 

But so far, few military officers have turned against Maduro.

 

A source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has done sufficient groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks, where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

 

Guaido, in a videotaped message to the crowd at Florida International University, called it a "decisive moment" to exert pressure on Maduro from inside and outside the country.

 

Trump also used his speech to rail against socialism as a "dying" ideology in the Western Hemisphere and to brand Maduro a "puppet" of communist-ruled Cuba.

 

While the Republican president did not directly equate socialism with the Democratic party, as he appeared to do in his State of the Union speech this month, he alluded to his earlier criticism of domestic policies proposed by some liberal Democrats.

 

"America will never be a socialist country," he said.

 

Trump wants to boost support among Florida's Hispanic voters as he looks ahead to his re-election campaign in 2020, when Florida is again expected to be an important swing state.

 

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Matt Spetalnick; additional reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Tom Brown, Howard Goller and Dan Grebler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-02-19
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5 hours ago, Jerry787 said:

Trump and the oil lobbies want the oil and mineral careless of the blood of the Venezuelan, we saw the same drama in iraq, that is "exportable OIL democracy ! 

3,500,000 Venezuelan have left the country because they were starving. There are no animals in the zoos guess why. The Russians and Chinese are there trying to get the oil. The socialist government have nationalised everything including toilet roll company. Socialism always fails and all you can do is blame Trump. Trump also said he was going to try and gat a for cure HIV within 10 years I bet you can find something wrong with that to.

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Well Venezuela does have the largest proven oil reserves in the World and it's not Trump that's fueling this invasion of Venezuela but John Bolton. He openly said that it "wouldn't be bad if US oil companies there [in Venezuela]". As for recognizing unelected leader who self-proclaimed being a president - that's like if other countries recognised Nancy Pelosi as US President and threatened US army to lose everything if they don't ditch Trump. Do you think that's normal, James?

 

And no - I'm no Maduro supporter. The guy screwed up the country, badly. Part was bad luck, part was his incompetence. Part his stupidity. But regardless of that - you can't just recognise another guy as head of one country because you don't like the guy elected. They did that in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and maaaaany others. Yes, they are definitely prospering after democratic rescue... NOT. But if the free and democratic World values are so dear to US leadership, why not replace leadership in Saudi Arabia? Ah, ehm, errr, nah can't do.... that's friends.

Edited by tomazbodner
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The CIA has been mucking about with the Venezuelan government for decades, this is nothing new. When the CIA organized a coup to oust Chavez, the people rose up and told them to pack sand, and Chavez was back in power within 48 hours. I have seen "credible" evidence to support how Maduro is a bad man, as well as the Venezuelan citizens claiming undying support for him. None of us will ever really know as we now live in the age of misinformation. Just test your gut by asking yourself one simple question - "do you really think outside governments are meddling in Venezuelan affairs for purely humanitarian objectives?"

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So much for "America First" and non-interventionist foreign policy.  Kushner and Bolton are having a field day. 

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Trump urges Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro or 'lose everything

Answers on the last grain of rice before you lose it🤔

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It's not a matter of supporting "trump"  or not, or supporting or opposing "socialism" or whatever.

Maduro must go. Period. 

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