Is the U.S. Headed for War With Venezuela?

While the eyes of the world are on North Korea and Rocket Man, the U.S. may be preparing for a war in its own backyard.

War of words between the U.S. and Venezuela escalates beyond words as U.S. places sanctions and a travel ban on Venezuela.

U.S. Considers Venezuelan Oil Embargo

Venezuelan President Maduro calls Trump “Hitler”, prepares country for war.

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Timeline

Scenes of economic chaos and a break down of law and order in Venezuela have been commonplace for years. The official reaction to the situation in the United States has long been muted.

Over the past months, however, U.S. interest in its southern neighbor has intensified.

August 25, 2017 U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Venezuela

We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. The President’s new action prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company. It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela.

o mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people, the Treasury Department is issuing general licenses that allow for transactions that would otherwise be prohibited by the Executive Order. These include provisions allowing for a 30-day wind-down period; financing for most commercial trade, including the export and import of petroleum; transactions only involving Citgo; dealings in select existing Venezuelan debts; and the financing for humanitarian goods to Venezuela.

September 15, 2017: Venezuela publishes oil prices in Chinese currency to shun U.S. dollar

“Venezuela will implement new strategies to free the country from the tyranny of the dollar.”

WSJ reports: “oil traders who export Venezuelan crude or import oil products into the country have begun converting their invoices to Euros.

September 19, 2017 Trump addresses the UN

“We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse.”

The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried.

The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch.

That goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy.

The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.

I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela.

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.

America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action.

September 19, 2017

Venezuela’s president says Donald Trump is ‘the new Hitler”

September 21, 2017 Nikki Haley Press Briefing Mentions Possibility of an Embargo on Venezuela

AMBASSADOR HALEY: Well, I think that — I was in the dinner with our Latin American friends, and I could tell you there was a lot of concern from all of them on what’s happening in Venezuela. They have all tried; we saw they tried through the OAS, and Venezuela got out of that. We’ve tried to do it through multiple avenues to get to Maduro and let him know what’s not acceptable. The U.S. has moved forward on sanctions, and they were not opposed to that.

So, yes, there were some conversations on what they recommended going forward, but I don’t think I should share that. I can tell you that there’s a lot of support in Latin America to see Venezuela start to respect its people and go back to the democracy it’s supposed to be. And I think every one of them was concerned about what’s happening right now.

Q Can you share just your own thoughts about an oil embargo on Venezuela, though? Is that something that —

AMBASSADOR HALEY: Well, you know — I mean, look, if things don’t improve, all those options are always there, and so that’s what we’re watching to see. First it was sanctions and now we’ll look and see. It’s not off the table, I can tell you that.

No discussion of the scope of any Venezuelan oil embargo was discussed. Whether it make take the form of the U.S. no longer importing oil in to the U.S. (Venezuela is the fifth largest oil importer into the US) or a full blockcade of Venezuela that would prevent it from exporting its oil.

September 24, 2017 White House adds Venezuela to Travel Ban list

Rational for inclusion:

(i) Venezuela has adopted many of the baseline standards identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security and in section 1 of this proclamation, but its government is uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats. Venezuela’s government fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately, fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion, and has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.

The ban is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on October 18, 2017,

September 26, 2017 Newsweek: – VENEZUELA PREPARES FOR WAR WITH U.S. WITH ‘RIFLES, MISSILES AND WELL-OILED TANKS AT THE READY’

“We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace,” said Maduro, “We need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready….to defend every inch of the territory if needs be,” he added.

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