FILE PHOTO: Elliott Abrams next to Colombian President Ivan Duque at the border with Venezuela. © AFP / RHONA WISE
With the vast majority of the world still seeing Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, America’s hawkish special envoy has hinted that Washington might sanction third parties that defy the US regime-change efforts.
The international community must choose sides wisely in the Venezuelan conflict, the curator of US intervention in the Latin American country, special envoy Elliott Abrams, suggested on Tuesday, noting that Washington would not limit itself to economic sanctions just against the Maduro government, but against all who chose to support him.
“Secondary sanctions, it’s clearly a possibility,” Abrams said at a press conference, warning that a decision to sanction third-party countries “would depend on the conduct of the [Venezuelan] regime over time.”
So far only some 54 countries have bowed to US pressure and recognized the self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, who since January has been rallying support for regime change. Whilst the US claims the “momentum is good” to get more countries on board, the majority of the world’s countries and population rejected Washington’s “imperialist” ambitions, Colin Cavell, associate professor of political science at Bluefield State College, said.
The US administration is “internationalizing the Venezuelan conflict on a very dangerous basis… threatening other countries who deal with Venezuela, saying that if you do not support our sanctions, we are going to impose sanctions on you,” Cavell explained.
The Trump administration is forcing its allies and other countries to choose: are you to support this aggressively attempted coup to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela or are you going to go and support this government that the United States does not like.
Sanctioning governments across the globe for backing Maduro over Guaido not only violates international law but highlights the brazen interference of the US in the affairs of a sovereign nation. Furthermore, the academic believes, the US administration seems to be acting under the assumption that “if there’s more pain on the Venezuelan people” then they will rise up and “overthrow” their government.
“Three-quarters of the world’s countries are siding with the elected government, the democratic government of Venezuela and that includes the largest countries in the world, China and Russia,” Cavell concluded. “So despite what Donald Trump says internally to keep in power domestically, the world is watching very closely this imperial aggression in Venezuela.”