Trump’s Statement on Venezuela

Via CNN:  Trump says he won’t rule out military option in Venezuela

Asked about the possibility of a military intervention in response to the mounting crisis in the country, the President said that is something the United States “certainly could pursue.”
“We have many options for Venezuela. And by the way, I am not going to rule out a military option,” Trump said. “We have many options for Venezuela.”
He added: “This is our neighbor. You know, we are 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 are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”
I have to admit, my reaction to this statement is not that different than Greg Week’s on Twitter yesterday (Weeks is Professor and Chair of Political Science and Public Administration at UNC Charlotte who studies/has written extensively on Latin America and US-Latin American relations)”

It really is nonsensical.  Not only is the only conceivable military intervention in this case total invasion to take over the government, which would be costly and pointless, but this type of rhetoric helps Maduro and bolsters years of anti-American chavista rhetoric.  This creates a rallying point for the Maduro regime.  It is amazingly stupid.

Moreover, it is a caricature of what presidents say in these contexts alongside an elementary school level understanding of foreign policy and military power.

Yes, Venezuela is in profound crisis.  Yes, it is a man-made crisis and the current regime is responsible. However, as anyone with any understanding of the military will tell you, military action cannot fix all things.  For a panoply of reasons, the current situation in Venezuela is clearly not amenable to a military solution.

There is more to say on this, but I will leave it here for the moment.  But between the unnecessary rhetorical escalation with North Korea this week, and now this, we are seeing what it looks like when a president who does not have even a basic understanding of the job has to deal with real foreign policy problems.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Franklin says:

    Another America-damaging statement from the MAGA President. (yawn)

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: Making America Grate Again.