Trump issues vague military threat to Venezuela, Caracas calls out his ‘craziness’

The violence sweeping through the streets has resulted in over 100 deaths and mass arrests and has prompted international outcry, urging Maduro to restore rule of law and democracy to the oil-rich country.

The U.S. hard-line stance against Venezuela is not new. In a move deemed a strategic mistake by analysts, former President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a “national security threat” and issued sanctions against several officials.

Reuters earlier this year reported that “Some [U.S] anti-aircraft missiles had been placed along the country’s coast,” in preparation for an eventual showdown.

President Trump’s threat, however, is a major escalation and seen as an “act of craziness” by Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.

Mark Feierstein, one of Obama’s senior aides on Venezuela, told Reuters that Trump’s threat will likely backfire.

“Maduro must be thrilled right now,” said Feierstein. “It’s hard to imagine a more damaging thing for Trump to say.”

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