MEXICO CITY. — US President Donald Trump’s military threat against Venezuela amid controversy over Venezuela’s creation of a National Constituent Assembly has drawn immediate condemnation among experts across Latin America.
Trump said on Friday he would not rule out a “military option” in Venezuela, a claim seemingly contradictory to the view of his top national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Argentinean international law expert Paola de Simons told Xinhua that Trump was sending out “a warning, (as a) foreign threat, which belongs to what were decades ago.”
De Simone believed that these declarations “show US interference in the region, which will create a larger anti-imperialist sentiment among its peoples. Regional bodies should speak out to condemn this threat.”
Trump’s threat came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Caracas over Venezuela’s creation of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) which was formed after an election on July 30.
The 545-member assembly, which has the rights to amend the constitution and reorganize the government, “aims to repair the malfunction” plaguing the country’s governing system, according to Delcy Rodriguez, the recently elected president of the new legislative body.
The ANC has supreme power over all government branches, including the National Assembly, or Congress, which was under the opposition’s control.
For Andres Villadiego, a Chilean political analyst, Trump’s words are part of a “tradition” in the United States to ramp up the rhetoric towards disliked governments.
“In North American diplomacy, they never rule out the use of force, the military option. When governments are not aligned with their interests, the military option will be present,” he explained.
The U.S. Treasury currently has sanctions in place against 21 Venezuelan officials, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Vice President Tareck El Aissami, Prosecutor-General Tarek William Saab, the Minister of Justice Nestor Reverol and Adan Chavez, brother to late President Hugo Chavez.
“This is another addition to the amount of pressure that the Maduro government is receiving internationally. However, I think there is only a remote possibility that this becomes a military aggression against Venezuela,” said Villadiego, a professor at the University of Carabobo.
In Cuba, the threat was seen as a threat to peace in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Cuban analyst Luis Suarez said that Trump was violating the declaration signed in 2014 by the heads of state of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, declaring the region as a “zone of peace.”
“Part of the essential content of this declaration is the rejection, not only of military aggression, but of threatened use of forces as part of relations between nations of this hemisphere,” said Suarez.
Calling Trump’s words a “direct aggression” against peace and independence of Latin America and the Caribbean, Suarez warned that a U.S. military attack against Venezuela could be hidden under the pretext of a “humanitarian intervention.” — Reuters.