A New York Times report from 2018 claims that the Trump administration held with Venezuelan military officers to discuss their plans That would not have been the first time a U.S. administration has meddled in Venezuela’s affairs. In fact, Well, it’s not new, as the history record proves. The U.S. has sought regime change in Venezuela since the election of Hugo Chávez. This has been going on a long time, I think the main difference is that the Trump administration is much more aggressive about it and open about it. But you can’t talk about U.S. intervention in Venezuela or even Latin America, without mentioning a nearly 200-year-old policy called the To put it simply, it basically declared that the United States had a kind of supremacy in this hemisphere. Originally designed to block European powers claiming colonies in Latin America, the Monroe Doctrine was later interpreted to mean the U.S. also on the continent through The United States is an empire. And so if you’re an empire, you want as many countries as possible to line up with you. And so the pawns matter as well in a chess game. In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry Many years ago, the United States dictated a policy that defined the hemisphere for many years after. But how true is that statement? In terms of foreign policy, there is very little difference between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans on the matter of exercise of U.S. foreign power in Latin America. Venezuela also checks another key box of reasons for U.S. intervention: Venezuela’s petroleum production reached an all-time high in 1970. A few years later in 1976, Venezuela has some of the largest deposits of oil in the world and potentially, as Mr. Bolton has said, Venezuela was always seen as a very willing ally and also as a constant supply of oil. But beyond oil, the U.S. was desperate to prevent this former ally from becoming a socialist state. Venezuela was the beginning of a in Latin America beginning in 1998. Venezuela went from being the model democracy, the preferred option that the U.S. promoted in Latin America, a pacted democracy that always supported the U.S., to being its nemesis with the election of Hugo Chávez, who promoted and an alternative to the U.S. promotion of in Latin America. Hugo Chávez’s election was particularly concerning for the U.S. He not only sought to use Venezuela’s oil wealth to fund healthcare, education and other benefits for the poor, but he also aligned with Cuba’s Fidel Castro – Washington’s longtime nemesis in Latin America. So in that sense, Venezuela becomes a thorn in the side of the U.S. and you add to that, that the election of Chávez in Venezuela was quickly followed by Lula in Brazil, the Kirchners in Argentina, Correa in Ecuador, Morales in Bolivia, Bachelet in Chile. and [that] threatened the U.S.’ hegemony. So that what’s happening now, in many cases, is an effort to recoup that hegemony, and Venezuela is part of that effort to recover the U.S.’ control and power. Venezuelan military officers and opposition leaders staged a coup to overthrow President Chávez. U.S. government officials serving under George W. Bush at the time denied having any prior knowledge of the coup. While American officials said they would not support any extra-constitutional moves to oust Chávez … There were CIA documents that were made public that showed that the United States government had advanced knowledge of the coup. Intervention doesn’t always rely on force. President Trump announced sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil industry in an effort to press for change in the country. What we’re focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the sources of its revenues. I think that from the very beginning [of the Chávez era], the U.S. policy towards Venezuela has been one of isolating Venezuela. This was under the Bush, Obama and now the Trump administration. Venezuela depends on oil for about 95% of its export earnings. [Venezuela] takes all profits, purchases food, brings it back to the country for sale. That means it can be easily intervened and can be easily upended. So sanction means that the country no longer can, on many levels be able to utilize its foreign assets to buy food and bring it home. Sanctions also mean it can’t renegotiate its debt. Sanctions also mean it can’t buy on the international market. After the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013, his former deputy Nicolás Maduro took power. Since then, Venezuela has been rocked by political, financial and humanitarian crises. And ordinary Venezuelans are bearing the brunt of all of them. The country is facing People are struggling to afford basic necessities, including medicine. like Colombia and Brazil. While Maduro blames the U.S., critics, including many former supporters and officials of Hugo Chávez, blame President Trump took advantage of the chaos and division in Venezuela to throw his support behind the Keep in mind that the U.S.’ involvement in Venezuela fits a long-term pattern of U.S. intervention in Latin American politics. So, you have a long history of U.S. intervention in the region, and it’s very anti-democratic, very often supported dictatorships. And in the 21st century, it was mostly against these leftist governments who were more interested in independence and self determination than the prior governments that were close to the U.S. The Trump administration has now called on veteran foreign policy advisor Elliott Abrams to act as special envoy for Venezuela Abrams certainly has experience in the region, but that experience has not necessarily been in promoting democracy. Throughout the 1980s, he was a key figure in organizing the Reagan administration’s support for dictators and death squads in El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua. He pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of misdemeanor for withholding information from Congress about illegal U.S. funding for right-wing Nicaraguan paramilitaries – the Iran-Contra affair. The selection of Elliot Abrams shows that it’s very similar to what they were doing in the 1980s when they were trying to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua. And there was so much resistance to it, by the way, in the United States that the Reagan administration had to end up funding the contras illegally with the arms sales to Iran. This is the neocons like John Bolton coming back and just trying to do Whatever the intentions of the United States, the opposition to Maduro is growing – and popular. Years of economic mismanagement, corruption and authoritarian repression of the media and political opposition has drawn even many supporters of Hugo Chávez onto the streets So, is it possible to want change in Venezuela but oppose U.S. involvement in the country? I agree, there needs to be change in Venezuela but the Venezuelans have to decide that. It’s a very slippery slope when we go down having the U.S. become the arbiter of internal politics in any country.