Trump Wanted War in Venezuela (and Maybe Still Does)

Last August, I asserted that the Trump Regime appeared to be interested in starting a war with Venezuela, with Mike Pence leading the public charge. That contention was met with some skepticism, ahem, but it turns out I was right — Donald Trump was war-shopping in Venezuela.

Joshua Goodman at the AP reports:
As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, [Donald] Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can't the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?

The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration. This account of the previously undisclosed conversation comes from a senior administration official familiar with what was said.

In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

But Trump pushed back. Although he gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, he pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.

The idea, despite his aides' best attempts to shoot it down, would nonetheless persist in the president's head.
And there's no reason to believe that the idea isn't lingering there still. In May, I noted an NBC News report about the U.S. canceling Venezulans' tourist visas at an unsual rate, "for no apparent reason," suggesting it was related to Trump's and Pence's continued hostility toward Venezuela — which, as I suggested in May, will probably remain a target for this regime as long as they continue to pursue foreign policy objectives that have a high risk of causing a conflagration that cuts off the U.S. from major oil resources in the Middle East.

Trump pretty clearly sees Venezuela as a resource he wants to exploit and control. That's a situation we need to understand and watch very closely.

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