Current foreign relations of Venezuela and the U.S. government
Following the events of the U.S. sanctions towards Venezuela' state-owned oil company 'Petroleos De Venezuela SA (PDVSA)', and the interim President Juan Guaido, Venezuela's situation is still running to be one of the most interesting foreign events to follow.
The U.S. government has continued to support Juan Guaido's administration as the interim President even with strong opposition, Maduro has blatantly threatened the politician. His thinly veiled threat of imprisoning Guaido for trying to remove him from power while giving his statement towards his supporters on January 23. However, observers have expressed their shock that Guaido has escaped the threatened imprisonment for more than three (3) weeks now.
This fact may be also due to the thinly veiled threat given by US security adviser, John Bolton wherein he stated that any threat against the opposition leader would be considered an assault on the 'rule of law and will be met with a significant response'. This statement clearly signifies that the US military will not stand by if its sponsored politician will be harmed by Maduro's people.
However, the US government has stated that they are willing to meet Maduro to discuss his 'exit'. The people in charge of his security and intelligence have also been sanctioned by the US Treasury department, adding more pressure on him. He has extended an invitation towards the US envoy lead by Elliot Abrams, which might signify that Maduro has realized that the 'Venezuelan people are rejecting him'.
On the issue of Humanitarian aid to the state, the Acting Administrator of USAID's Latin America and Caribbean Burea, Steve Olive has contact with 'President' Guaido, and has prepared goods to assist the citizens that require help. However, this help has been blocked by Maduro's people, it has prevented the arrival of the long-awaited food and medical supplies which are at arms length considering they are at the border of Venezuela.
The tensions between the states continue to increase as multiple states including the US, Canada, and a majority of South American and Western European countries have recognized Guaido's position. As stated in the earlier blog, the three allies of Maduro remain loyal to him and his administration and refuses to recognize Guaido.
Guaido has tried to contact both Russia and China to form diplomatic relations with them as a way to decrease their support on Maduro's administration. His limited statements that include, "We're sending and receiving communications...that's all I can say at the moment." leave much to the imagination. He has stated that Russia and China do have varied and large interests with Venezuela and this has issued the necessity to form relations with them.
Maduro remains to be stubborn as recently, his men who are special National Police squads (dressed in black mask and uniforms) have targeted the opposition supporters resulting in forty (40) deaths. FAES or the Bolivarian National Special Action Forces "Death Squad" which has been linked to these deaths. Alvarado states that this elite units were supposed to protect the Venezuelan people but instead they have become the executioners.
Brown, R. & Hansler, J. (2019). US willing to meet Maduro as military helps to deliver aid to Venezuela. CNN Politics. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/15/politics/us-maduro-humanitarian-aid/index.html
Llorente, E. (2019). Photos emerge showing Venezuela's death squad with lifeless bodies, victims described as anti-government protesters. Fox News. Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/world/photos-emerge-showing-venezuelas-death-squad-with-lifeless-bodies-victims-described-as-anti-government-protesters
Daniels, J. & Phillips, T. (2019). Maduro issues threat to jail Venezuela's opposition leader. The Guardian. Retrieved from https:///www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/05/maduro-veiled-threat-jail-venezuela-opposition-leader-juan-guaido
Fleming, S., Foy, H. & Long, G. (2019). Venezuela's opposition reaches out to Russia and China. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/a74930e2-3180-11e9-8744-e7016697f225