World Trump's threat of Venezuela military action could bolster Maduro

20:51  13 august  2017
20:51  13 august  2017 Source:   reuters.com

Maradona says he is a 'soldier' for Venezuela's Maduro

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CARACAS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump ’ s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political lifeline for the country’s unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump ’ s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political life-line for the country’s unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy. President Nicolas Maduro has continued the

Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S. President Donald Trump's talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political life-line for the country's unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy.

President Nicolas Maduro has continued the free-spending socialist "revolution" started by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, almost 20 years ago. Key to the populist rhetoric used by both is a constant drumbeat of warnings that the U.S. "empire" is planning an invasion to steal Venezuela's oil.

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CARACAS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump ' s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political lifeline for the country's unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy. President Nicolas Maduro has

" Maduro could not have asked for a greater gift from Trump ," said David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin American.

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That threat was laughed off by the opposition and until Friday night, when Trump said a military option was not out of the question for dealing with the Venezuelan government's crackdown on the opposition and deepening social crisis.

"He's doing Maduro a favor by reinforcing the nationalist position that the Gringos want to come and attack Venezuela. This has always been part of Maduro's rhetoric, and Chavez before him. And it has served them both well," said lawyer Luis Alberto Rodriguez while sitting at a cafe, smoking a Cuban cigar, in one of Caracas' wealthier neighborhoods.

"It's not going to have any impact other than the government using it to further unify its people and attack the opposition," the 44-year-old added.

Peru expels Venezuelan ambassador to protest constituent assembly

  Peru expels Venezuelan ambassador to protest constituent assembly Peru has decided to expel Venezuela's ambassador to Peru after Caracas sent an "unacceptable" response to a new Western Hemisphere group's condemnation of the country's new legislative superbody, Peru's foreign affairs ministry said Friday. The ambassador, Diego Molero, has five days to leave Peru, the ministry added. On Tuesday, Peru summoned diplomats from across the Americas to collectively condemn the "rupture of democratic order" in Venezuela.(Story corrects first paragraph to show that Peru says Caracas sent an "unacceptable" response, not that Caracas failed to respond.

CARACAS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump ’ s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political life-line for the country’s unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy.

Trump Venezuela Political Maduro military action . US President Donald Trump ' s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political lifeline for the country's unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of US aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy.

Maduro loyalists, who regularly insult opposition leaders as Washington's lackeys, wasted no time in pouncing.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he arrives for a session of the National Constituent Assembly at Palacio Federal Legislativo in Caracas© REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he arrives for a session of the National Constituent Assembly at Palacio Federal Legislativo in Caracas

"Mind your own business and solve your own problems, Mr. Trump!" thundered Maduro's son, also named Nicolas, at the country's new constituent assembly, which was elected last month to re-write the constitution.

The opposition fears the assembly will remove any checks that remain on the president's powers and critics globally have condemned it as an affront to democracy.

"If Venezuela were attacked," the younger Maduro said, "The rifles would arrive in New York, Mr. Trump. We would take the White House."

Marches against Maduro were held in Caracas on Saturday, with few confrontations with state security forces and no deaths. More than 120 have been killed in unrest since April, as the economy collapses deeper into a recession compounded by triple-digit inflation as well as food and medicine shortages.

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U.S. President Donald Trump ' s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political lifeline for the country's unpopular leader, who has long used the threat of U.S. aggression to justify policies that have shredded the economy. President Nicolas Maduro has continued the

United States President Donald Trump ' s talk of possible military action in Venezuela could be a political lifeline for the country's unpopular leader. The coalition added: " Venezuela has for years been militarily and politically intervened by Cuba," echoing opposition criticism that Maduro has

Opposition leaders who have counted on the U.S. government to apply sustained moral and economic pressure on Maduro have so far been silent about Trump's remarks and marchers seemed confounded by his military threat.

"I don't know what to tell you," one woman marcher said, declining to give her name. "It's very complicated."

'NO GREATER GIFT'

The opposition, which controls a congress that has been neutered by Maduro's loyalist Supreme Court, boycotted last month's election of the new legislative superbody.

Opposition leaders called instead for an early presidential election, which Maduro would likely lose as his popularity gets pummeled by the country's economic woes.

"Maduro could not have asked for a greater gift from Trump. He provided substance for Maduro's heretofore implausible conspiracy theories," said David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin American, a human rights think-tank.

Smilde said Trump's threat of military force put the Venezuelan opposition "on its heels" after a group of Latin American governments joined last week in reprimanding Maduro for sponsoring the July 30 election of the constituent assembly.

"It has threatened to deflate the emerging regional consensus regarding Venezuela. Today the countries that on Tuesday signed on to a strong statement criticizing Maduro's authoritarian direction are spending their time criticizing Trump's statements," Smilde said.

(Additional reporting by Eyanir Chinea; Editing by Mary Milliken)

Venezuela prepares world summit to defend new legislative body .
<p>Venezuela is preparing an international summit to rally support for an all-powerful lawmaking body, whose recent creation drew widespread foreign condemnation as a power grab by leftist President Nicolas Maduro.</p>Venezuela is preparing an international summit to rally support for an all-powerful lawmaking body, whose recent creation drew widespread foreign condemnation as a power grab by leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

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