President Donald Trump recently spoke to reporters regarding the situation in Venezuela. During this announcement, the president said that military action was within the realm of possibility. Many have spoken out with their opinions on the whole matter.
Senator Ben Sasse(R-Neb.) is among those who has commented on Trump’s comment that he was considering a military option to deal with the situation in Venezuela. Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, said that Congress has not authorized military action in Venezuela.
‘No. Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today.’
Sasse’s comments were in response to statements Trump made regarding the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
‘They have many options for Venezuela — and, by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option. We’re all over the world, and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering, and they’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary.’
When asked for more details regarding what a military option might entail, Trump said that he wouldn’t talk about it, but said a military option was “certainly” something he would consider.
Last month’s elections saw a dramatic increase in the power of Nicolas Maduro. There have been reports that Maduro’s government has become increasingly heavy-handed including arrests of mayors and the intimidation of citizens.
The White House reports that Maduro requested a phone call with Trump, but was refused. A spokesperson for the White House stated that Trump will not speak with him until the country sees democratic reforms.
“Since the start of this Administration, President Trump has asked that Maduro respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people. The Maduro regime has refused to heed this call, which has been echoed around the region and the world. Instead Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship.”
For its part, the Pentagon has stated that it has not received any new orders regarding Venezuela which would imply that, at least for now, Trump’s comments were simply talk. Aside from military action, there has also been rumors that the United States would impose sanctions on Venezuela. Given the poor state of the country’s economy, such a move could have a dramatic impact on Venezuela. The nation is suffering from one of the highest inflation rates in the world. As a result of this, the country’s people have seen the price of bread doubled in two weeks. Some analysts estimate that Venezuela’s economy could shrink by more than 10 percent this year. While not as drastic as military action, sanctions remain a controversial option. They might be able to pressure Maduro’s government into make reforms, but many of the country’s poorer citizens could suffer in the meantime.
For now, it remains unclear what the United States plans to do regarding Venezuela. However, it does appear that, despite Trump’s words, military action remains off the table for the time being.
Featured image via Getty Images.