Tags: Trump Administration | Venezuela | venezuela | trump | blockade

Gizzi: Trump's Blockade Idea May Work

Saturday, 03 August 2019 10:13 AM Current | Bio | Archive

If President John F. Kennedy had not quarantined the communist island of Cuba in 1962, we may have lived under the threat of nuclear missiles just 60 miles from our shore for many decades.

It is an important lesson for President Donald Trump as he considers a similar blockade of Venezuela.

On Thursday, as Trump departed the White House I asked him if he was considering a blockade or quarantine against Venezuela.

He responded with an emphatic, “Yes, I am” — saying those words three times for emphasis.

In my question to the president I noted the support leftist dictator Nicolas Maduro and his regime has received from foreign powers, including Cuba, China, Russia and Iran.

Trump did not elaborate on just when or how such a blockade could be imposed — and whether it would include maritime activities and airplanes.

So far, the Trump administration has relied on diplomatic and economic pressure against Maduro’s regime.

But Maduro remains in power largely due to foreign actors who continue to prop up his regime.

The United States and many nations have recognized the new Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido. But the Maduro government continues to control the Venezuelan military with the help of the Cubans and Russians.

Venezuela has been rife with violence and unrest this year as Maduro’s populist policies have created huge spikes in hyperinflation, unemployment, poverty, crime, disease and child mortality.

The situation there has created a humanitarian crisis throughout the whole region.

Should Trump opt for a quarantine, he would be following the same path taken by Kennedy in 1962.

On October 22nd of that year, Kennedy, in a dramatic nationally-televised address, announced a quarantine of Cuba in retaliation for the discovery of Soviet nuclear weapons facilities there days earlier.

The Kennedy quarantine prevented "all offensive military equipment under shipment" to a particular country. Trump’s quarantine could also be similarly limited.

A quarantine of Venezuela could take several forms.

For example, the United States could prevent Cuban and Russian military aid to Veneuela.

The U.S. could also demand all oil tankers leaving Venezuela to report to a neutral or U.S. port first, to ensure the oil is being purchased through the legitimate Guaido government.

Trump would also have legal standing to request that Cuban and Russian military advisers depart Venezuela.

He could first cite the Monroe Doctrine, which Russia has been clearly flouting. This is a long-held U.S. policy that foreign actors should not control or influence nations in the Western hemisphere.

The president would also be on firm ground if he cited the Organization of American States Charter, of which both the United States and Venezuela are signatories.

Chapter IV, articles 20 and 21 make clear that undue foreign influence of another OAS state is forbidden and illegal.

Article 20 states:

"No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind."

And Article 21 states:

"The territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever. No territorial acquisitions or special advantages obtained either by force or by other means of coercion shall be recognized."

When President Reagan sent troops to Grenada in 1983, overthrowing the communist regime there, he cited similar treaty provisions. His move was warmly received by the Grenadans who revere him as a national hero to this day.

There is little doubt that Trump demanded that the estimated 25,000 Cuban troops and secret police currently in Venezuela, along with Russian military advisers, must depart, they would have no option to do so.

And the consequence would be the Maduro regime would quickly fall.

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John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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If President Kennedy had not quarantined the communist island of Cuba in 1962, we may have lived under the threat of nuclear missiles just 60 miles from our shore for many decades.It is an important lesson for President Trump as he considers a similar blockade of...
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Saturday, 03 August 2019 10:13 AM
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