The U.S. administration has recently announced that blockading Venezuela is being considered as a strategic response, as the crisis in the South American country continues.
This consideration was revealed almost backhandedly by the president late last week during a meeting with the media while en route to a rally in Cincinnati.
Trump did not elaborate on his supposed “plan” to cut off Venezuela from the rest of the world. But such a move does have potential in moving things in the right direction for the impoverished, crisis-ridden nation.
Trump has slapped a series of escalating sanctions on Venezuela to pressure socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro to step down. Trump has also made a point of not ruling out military action. But U.S. officials have made clear that they are focused on economic and diplomatic measures and have shown no significant signs of taking up more aggressive options.
The problem with this position is, Venezuela has several patron nations keeping it afloat and giving it assistance, from its natural regional ally Cuba, to China and Russia.
A blockade could give Trump the ability to apply more active force by making it more difficult for Venezuela to receive outside assistance, while at the same time not going through with an all-out invasion of the country—an option Trump had allegedly pushed for earlier this year. This would allow the U.S. to avoid direct confrontation with the foreign troops that have been gathering to assist Maduro for the past several months. Russia has dispatched small numbers of troops to the South American country. Similarly, there is strong evidence that Iranian personnel, including actual Hezbollah operatives, have become entrenched in Venezuela.