Sputnik caught up with Jorge Martin of the political lobbying group, Hands Off Venezuela, to ask whether the president’s position is shared by others in the US establishment.
Sputnik: So, to begin with, do you think, what might be described as Trump’s rather outlandish idea stands alone in Washington, or are there others who share the sentiment that the use of force to remove Nicholas Maduro from power could be a beneficial thing?
Jorge Martin: Well first of all I think the very fact that it has now been revealed that Trump had a serious idea of invading Venezuela is quite scandalous.
But yes, I do think there are other people in the US administration, who are probably in favour of this kind of ideas. There is a very strong lobby, in the right wing of the Republican party, mainly cantered around Florida Republicans, people like Marco Rubio, and people like that, who have always been I favour of a more proactive action on the part of the United States to remove the governments in Cuba, Venezuela and in other parts.
I will say that yes, Trump’s ideas about this, are probably shared by others in his administration, and others in the Republican Party.
Sputnik: Where do you see this going from here? Is it possible that Washington and its regional allies may up the pressure on Venezuela in the future in hope that they can actually topple Maduro once and for all?
Jorge Martin: I think that it’s quite significant that everyone else in his administration, and four Latin American president who were consulted about this plan, were all against it.
They were all against it not on the grounds that they are democrats, or that this will violate international law or anything like this, they were just against it on the grounds that this will probably backfire, it will not achieve the intended aims. But the aim is clear.
The aim of the US administration not only under Trump, but also under Obama, is to remove the democratically elected government in Venezuela, which, in itself is quite scandalous, and I have no doubt that they will continue with this policy.
Sputnik: This of course, isn’t the first time the president has threatened the use of military force, of course there was his now famous “fire and fury” threat with regards to North Korea. Some might say that this is just Mr Trump’s approach to foreign affairs, and that in fact, certainly in the case of North Korea, it might’ve helped to get us where we are today – the negotiating table – so maybe it could work with Venezuela too – what would you say to such people?
Jorge Martin: I will say that the threats issued by Trump were quite serious.
These threats were not made publicly, so much, but in private meetings where he raised the possibility of an invasion and asked the opinion of his advisors as to where that was his role or not. So, I think that in this case he was really thinking about an invasion and this in my opinion cannot be disregarded as mere boasting.
If anybody was trying to dictate what the government of the United States does, it will be uproar in the media and government of the United States. So, the principle of sovereignty for countries to decide their own policy is violated by the United States and no one bats an eyelid
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Jorge Martin and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.