During a meeting about diplomatic sanctions the United States were enacting on the autocratic government of Venezuela, Donald Trump asked several close foreign policy advisors whether invading Venezuela should or should not happen. This comes from a senior administration official.
Luckily for Venezuela, the United States of America and everyone else, his aides and then-national security adviser HR McMaster advised him against such move. The US allies in the region were opposing such drastic measure, and it could have backfired against America had those measures been taken. Currently, America is answering to what is going on in the world with diplomacy and sanctions and taking military action would be a drastic leap from that.
The official who informed us of such notion didn’t seem worried as he mentioned that there was “no imminent plan for a military strike” and that Trump was just thinking “out loud.” In the official’s own words: “The President says and thinks a lot of different things. He just thinks out loud.”
The first one to report this news was Associated Press, and Trump even said it publicly that he is keeping a military option against Venezuela on the table, as he was standing next to the former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. POTUS spent the following month trying to persuade Latin American leaders that the military should be an option to consider, but all of them opposed him, saying that they didn’t want to see the United States going against Venezuela.
As for the US foreign policy towards Latin America, Venezuela has been a key focus for the Trump administration. The president and his aides have taken multiple steps to increase the pressure on the government of Venezuela and country’s president Nicolas Maduro. So far, various sanctions have been imposed, and the US advocated for the government in Venezuela to allow free and fair elections.
Trump sent Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States to talk to the Venezuelan opposition leaders and see what they can do to improve the situation in the country. Pence also criticized the Venezuelan government during several trips to that country he had in the recent past.
Should Trump’s comment about military action worry us? This has not been the first time we heard POTUS ranting about taking military action against another country. Before his summit with Kim was scheduled, Trump had been weighing on the option to attack North Korea, and in January at the beginning of the year, the world was on the brink of war. Trump was eager to activate the US military stationed in South Korea, but his aides prevented him from taking such actions because North Korea could have interpreted them as wartime preparations.
And now the situation is repeating. POTUS has wanted to strike Venezuela, but his aides come to the rescue once again. We are wondering what country is the next on Trump’s wish list. All of this makes us question the way he sees foreign policy and international relations. Does he just stand in front of the map and points at the country he wants to invade? Instead of brokering peace with the other nations, the United States is doing the opposite. At least its president.
However, not everything Trump does on the world scene is for criticism. During his summit with Kim Jong-un, he managed to ease the tension and become the first US president who met with a North Korean dictator in decades. They were talking about denuclearization, but there are still a lot of disagreements about what each country wants and how they see the process unfolding.