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‘Prevent anything going in’: Report claims Trump repeatedly considered Venezuela blockade

‘Prevent anything going in’: Report claims Trump repeatedly considered Venezuela blockade
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested deploying warships along Venezuela’s coast to enforce a naval blockade, a report claims, citing officials. Trump earlier signaled he was eyeing the move, but was short on details.

Trump first broached the idea of cutting off the crisis-hit Latin American nation from the outside world at least a year and half ago, Axios reported, citing current and former officials who were privy to the internal discussions.

Also on rt.com Bolton promises economic ruin for ‘rogue state’ Venezuela with trade embargo

While the proposal has reportedly failed to win much support from the top brass, who see the prospect of stationing the US Navy along the 2,800km (1,700 miles) long Venezuelan coastline unfeasible and too costly to attempt, Trump has not given up on the idea, floating it again as recently as “several weeks ago,” the officials said.

He literally just said we should get the ships out there and do a naval embargo. Prevent anything going in.

Senior officials in the Trump administration also reportedly voiced concerns about the implications of the move from an international law perspective, as it appears to lack any legal justification.

Others warned that such a mammoth project would require an amount of resources that the navy does not yet possess, and could hurt the US' ability to deter China and Iran since the blockade would require diverting ships from other regions.

When he proposed a blockade of Venezuela, Trump apparently reminisced about the one imposed on Cuba during the Caribbean crisis of 1962, according to one official who spilled the beans to Axios. They noted that the president has been having a hard time grasping the geographical challenges posed by his plan.

Cuba is an island and Venezuela is a massive coastline. And [with] Cuba we knew what we were trying to prevent from getting in. But here what are we talking about?

Trump first publicly admitted that he was considering a blockade or a "quarantine" of Venezuela in early August. “Yes, I am,” the president said back then, when asked by a reporter if he was weighing such an option, but provided no details. In the weeks that followed, he never touched on the subject again, at least publicly.

Also on rt.com Venezuela ‘ready for battle’ if Trump imposes blockade – Maduro

Trump’s remark drew a strong rebuke from Caracas, with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro saying that his country was “prepared for battle” if Washington delivers on its threat.

The US has been openly advocating regime change in Venezuela, rallying behind opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is struggling to regain momentum after a failed coup attempt on April 31, and hitting the nation with layers of sanctions intended to ruin its already crippled economy, all in the name of a "peaceful democratic transition."

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