Trump threatens Cuba with ‘full embargo and highest-level sanctions’ over Venezuela


01-05-19 08:20:00,

US President Donald Trump has threatened Cuba with a “full and complete embargo, together with highest-level sanctions” if Havana does not stop its alleged support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Trump tweeted his demands on Tuesday, after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for the military and police to take action against Maduro.

While Guaido declared himself president in January with the support of the US and has since gained the support of most of US-allied Latin America, the Venezuelan security forces remain largely loyal to Maduro, and Guaido’s call to arms appears to have been unsuccessful in sparking large-scale defections.

If Cuban Troops and Militia do not immediately CEASE military and other operations for the purpose of causing death and destruction to the Constitution of Venezuela, a full and complete….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2019

….embargo, together with highest-level sanctions, will be placed on the island of Cuba. Hopefully, all Cuban soldiers will promptly and peacefully return to their island!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2019

Struggling to explain the Venezuelan military’s reluctance to throw its support behind the US-backed politician, who was a largely unknown figure before he became head of the National Assembly in January, Trump’s administration has put forth the narrative that Venezuela is really under “Cuban occupation” and has sought to punish Havana for its purported role.

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Cuba is already subject to a US embargo, which was first imposed in 1958 and expanded in 1962 to include nearly all exported goods. While Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama sought to relax trade restrictions on Cuba, that effort was squelched when Trump assumed power. Trump has further attempted to squeeze Cuba by declaring American companies will be allowed to sue the Cuban government for properties confiscated during Castro’s revolution.

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