Archive for the ‘Trump and Venezuela’ category

Trump on Cuba: ‘Communism Is the Past, Freedom Is the Future’

October 6, 2017

Trump on Cuba: ‘Communism Is the Past, Freedom Is the Future’, Washington Free Beacon, October 6, 2017


President Donald Trump slammed Cuba’s communist government on Friday, saying that “communism is the past” and “freedom is the future.”

Trump spoke at the White House at a gathering for Hispanic heritage, where he said the United States hopes for freedom in the entire Western hemisphere, including Cuba and Venezuela.

“As I announced before a wonderful crowd in Little Havana earlier this year, we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until it delivers full political freedom for the Cuban people,” Trump said. “The same failed communist ideology that has brought oppression to Cuba has brought nothing but suffering and misery everywhere and everyplace it has been anywhere in the world.”

“Communism is the past; freedom is the future,” Trump said to applause from the audience.

Trump then turned to Venezuela, saying its socialist government is responsible for the South American country’s turmoil.

“We also stand with the people of Venezuela who are suffering under the ruthless socialism of the Maduro regime,” Trump said. “We reject socialist oppression and we call for the restoration of democracy and freedom for the citizens of Venezuela.”

The crowd in the White House cheered loudly during Trump’s remarks.

Bolton: Trump’s U.N. Speech the Best of His Presidency

September 19, 2017

Bolton: Trump’s U.N. Speech the Best of His Presidency, Washington Free Beacon, , September 19, 2017

Fox News contributor John Bolton called Donald Trump’s speech before the United Nations Tuesday the best of his young presidency.

Bolton, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, praised Trump for his direct denunciation of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and criticism of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.

“This was the best speech of the Trump presidency, in my view,” Bolton said. “I think he was as clear and direct as it’s possible to be.”

Trump said the U.S. would destroy North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies; Bolton said that was a memorable line.

“I think it’s safe to say, in the entire history of the United Nations, there has never been a more straightforward criticism of the behavior, the unacceptable behavior of other member states,” Bolton said.

In addition, he said Trump’s critiques of the nuclear deal revealed the White House would not tolerate “half-measures and compromises” that allowed Iran and North Korea to progress to the verge of having deliverable nuclear weapons.

He also praised Trump’s line, which was met with near silence at first, that the collapsing regime in Venezuela was an example of socialism being successfully implemented.

“There are a lot of people in the UN. who have never heard anything like that from an American president,” Bolton said. “I think this was an outstanding speech, and I think it will serve the president very well.”

World Leaders Must Recognize Results of Venezuelan Popular Consultation and Actively Support the Country’s Opposition

July 18, 2017

World Leaders Must Recognize Results of Venezuelan Popular Consultation and Actively Support the Country’s Opposition, Center for Security Policy, Luis Fleischman, July 17, 2017

(Please see also, Trump Warns Venezuela: ‘US Will Take Strong & Swift Economic Actions’ — DM)

Latin American leaders and President Trump must make a courageous decision now. The world will hopefully follow.


The Venezuelan opposition scored a major victory on Sunday July 16th, as millions of Venezuelans rejected the regime of Nicolas Maduro in a popular referendum.

This referendum, also called a “popular consultation” in legal terms, was organized by the Venezuelan opposition, approved by the legislative power (which is in the hands of the opposition), and disapproved by the Electoral National Council or CNE (which is totally being ran as a puppet of the Maduro government).

This public consultation was initiated by the opposition after three months of popular protests against the regime of Nicolas Maduro that left 100 people dead, including a woman killed on the day of the vote by government thugs, also known as “colectivos.”  The idea of the referendum is embedded in Article 71 of the Venezuelan constitution of 1999 approved and supported by Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez. According to this constitutional article, “issues of special national importance can be subjected to popular referendum either by initiative of the President, by a vote by the majority of the members of the National Assembly, or by a petition of a minimum of 10% of those who are registered to vote.

Likewise, the referendum finds ground in article 350 of the constitution that allows civil disobedience or non-recognition of a regime or authority whose behavior contradicts the values and principles of the Republic, fails to guarantee democratic governance, or undermines the rights of Venezuelan citizens.

The referendum was also conducted in reaction to Maduro’s call for a new constituent assembly that would reform the current constitution. Maduro’s constitutional reform has been widely interpreted as an attempt to consolidate the de-facto dictatorship he has imposed on the Venezuelan people. In fact, it is an anti-constitutional constitution.

Thus, the referendum sought to reject Maduro’s “constitutional” initiative by asking the question, “Do you reject the constitutional assembly without the previous approval of the people of Venezuela?” The consultation also poses the question“are the Venezuelan Armed Forces to obey the 1999 Constitution and abide by the decisions of the National Assembly?”

This second question is the result of the fact that throughout the years the Chavez and Maduro regimes have co-opted the armed forces by purging certain officers and promoting others in order to subordinate the armed forces to the political project of the regime. Thus, the Armed Forces have ceased to be subjected to the constitution and the laws of the state and instead they have become tools of the regime’s prerogatives and arbitrary will.

The last question asked of the citizens is if they approve that the renewal of the public powers and the restoration of free elections is to be followed by a government of national unity.

The third question, in fact, asked the people if they are interested in new free elections that could lead to a transition from the current authoritarian rule.

The referendum was not approved by the CNE. Therefore, this body has claimed the result of the consultation is not binding. On the other hand, the opposition claims the results should be binding because the National Assembly has the constitutional authority to convene it.

Regardless of whether the Maduro government recognizes this referendum or not, or whether its results are legally binding or not, in a country where the government itself is illegitimate, the referendum reflects this very illegitimacy.

Interestingly enough, when the CNE decided not to provide its stamp of approval to the referendum, it also remained powerless to conduct any type of fraud. Elections organized and approved by the government have always been suspected of being fraudulent. In fact, in the last parliamentary election, where the opposition  won the majority, Maduro attempted to manipulate the results. However, such move was halted by the Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino, most probably afraid of a popular uprising.

Now after Sunday’s victory, the National Assembly feels it has a mandate to name a new transitional government, new ministers, new electoral authorities, and new Supreme Court justices.  (The “zero hour”)

This “zero hour” also means that the population is encouraged to resist and strike until the Maduro regime collapses.

But the “zero hour” also applies to us, the international community, and to the United States in particular.

This time the overwhelming defeat suffered by the Maduro government reflects the real will of the people and most importantly, their courage to express rejection of the Venezuelan dictatorship. The world must see this and react with the moral integrity that the situation requires. Respect the results of this referendum and support the opposition.

Latin American countries and the entire international community, including the United States, must recognize the results of the popular consultation as legitimate.  Latin American presidents that supported OAS action on Venezuela must be the first ones to do it.

The world needs to proceed to apply sanctions, particularly mega sanctions. President Donald Trump must set the pace. Freeze the assets of CITGO, the American branch of the Venezuelan oil-giant PDVSA, and the main lobbying force in the U.S. on behalf of this dictatorship that is also a narco-state with ties to terrorists. The political and military leadership of Venezuela must be isolated, sanctioned, and their assets must be frozen. Dissidence must be encouraged among those who are part of the government.  There have been already some acts of desertion within Chavista ranks, and this popular consultation may bring more defectors.

Latin American leaders and President Trump must make a courageous decision now. The world will hopefully follow.

Trump Warns Venezuela: ‘US Will Take Strong & Swift Economic Actions’

July 18, 2017

Trump Warns Venezuela: ‘US Will Take Strong & Swift Economic Actions’, Latin American Herald Tribune, July 18, 2017

Statement from President Donald J. Trump

Yesterday, the Venezuelan people again made clear that they stand for democracy, freedom, and rule of law. Yet their strong and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.

The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will take strong and swift economic actions.

The United States once again calls for free and fair elections and stands with the people of Venezuela in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy.

By Heather Nauert
US Department of State

The United States applauds the courage and determination of Venezuelans who exercised their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in defense of their democracy on July 16. Yesterday’s vote was a massive repudiation of the proposed National Constituent Assembly, which would undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions. The vote by millions of Venezuelans was an unequivocal affirmation in support of free and fair elections as well as respect for the existing constitution.

Further, we condemn the loss of life in Catia, Caracas and deplore the violence. We call on the Venezuelan government to bring the attackers to justice.

Millions of Venezuelans’ voices must not be ignored. The United States calls on the Government of Venezuela to abandon the proposed National Constituent Assembly. We encourage governments in the hemisphere and around the world to call on President Maduro to suspend this process which only seeks to undermine democracy in Venezuela.

As the President stated earlier today, the United States is prepared to take strong and swift economic actions if the Government of Venezuela proceeds with the National Constituent Assembly action.

Venezuela’s Hydrogen Bomb – 30 June 2017 by Latin American Herald Tribune on Scribd