London, 3rd September 2019
In South America, calm is urgently needed to stablise the political situation. Venezuela, for so long vulnerable to outside pressures, has spent 2019 absorbing threats and economic attacks from its northern neighbour, the United States.
Last month US President Donald Trump said he was considering a blockade of Venezuela. resident Trump did not offer any details as to exactly what such a measure would entail, but a White House official confirmed that the statement should be “taken seriously” and that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had only a “short window” in which to leave office.
On April 30th this year, a US-backed coup failed when self-declared ‘President’ Juan Guaidó failed to gain the support of the military to overthrow the Bolivarian government. Since then Venezuela has stabilised somewhat but remains under intense economic and political pressure, not only from the Trump administration but from the European Union and many of its neighbours in South America.
Maduro rejected Trump’s blockade threat, stating that Venezuelan seas would remain “free and independent.”
“[The statement] says a lot about the US’ government’s desperation in the face of the dignity of the Venezuelan people,” he said during a televised address. Maduro went on to add that Caracas would take the matter before the United Nations Security Council.
Since the failed coup, US sanctions have increased, targeting key sectors including mining, banking and the critical oil industry. The Treasury Department imposed an embargo on oil exports to US refineries in January, while also introducing obstacles for Venezuelan imports of fuel and diluents. The most recent sanctions were imposed against Venezuela’s CLAP subsidized food program.
Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism urges the United States and its allies within and outside Venezuela to significantly scale back their threats against Caracas. This will allow more political space for genuine efforts to end the crisis to succeed. The Norwegian government has confirmed that negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition have taken place in Barbados.
“[T]he parties have reiterated their willingness to advance in the search for an agreed-upon and constitutional solution, focused on the well-being of the Venezuelan people,” the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said.
This focus on the well-being of the population had been lost in the crisis. Tactics believes that a crisis that is political in nature requires a political solution and that economic and military means will not advance the parties towards a solution.
Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism is an independent, non-partisan, think tank. Tactics researches terrorism to identify its causes and best possible remedies, always bearing in mind the protection of individual liberties and the human rights of all those affected.
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