The Trump administration has initiated negotiations with the most radical wing of Chavismo, while analyzing the possibility of implementing a naval blockade on Venezuela in order to reduce the revenue of the dictatorship.
According to Axios, the United States is assessing all possible options that end with the fall of Nicolás Maduro. Trump has apparently suggested to national security officials that his country should station ships along the Venezuelan coastline to prevent goods from entering and leaving the country. The proposal has come up repeatedly.
Axios explains that thus far officials close to Trump dismiss the idea of a naval blockade because “it has no legal basis, and would absorb the resources of a Navy that is already overextended to counteract China and Iran.”
The idea is a direct initiative of the president of the United States in order to further pressure the dictatorship. In fact, Trump recently said that he would be willing to implement a total embargo against the dictatorial regime in Venezuela.
“He literally said that we should bring out the ships and institute a naval embargo,” said a source who heard the president’s comments. “Prevent everything from entering,” he said.
US officials have already made clear the importance of implementing a real threat of force, because according to their assessment, the Venezuelan Army is not prepared to face the US Armed Forces.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) also agrees with Trump: “I have said for months that when the Venezuelan Army sees a US military presence gathering forces, this will end quite quickly,” he told Axios.
News about the possibility of a naval blockade emerges days after Russia and the Maduro regime announced the exchange of warships between their ports; a measure that seems to be intended as a direct provocation of the United States government.
The article also referred to the new negotiations between the United States and Diosdado Cabello, seeking a Maduro exit strategy. He explained that one of the emissaries from the Venezuelan military met with Mauricio Claver Carone, an official of the National Security Council.
Trump feels frustrated because the fall of Nicolás Maduro has not yet been achieved, the diplomatic channel and economic sanctions have not been sufficient, and despite the fact that the military option remains on the table, the US government is seeking “creative alternatives” to keep pushing the regime out.
The Maduro regime announced on Monday, August 19, that it will denounce the United States government to the UN Security Council for the “threat of naval blockade.”
Maduro turned oil tankers into warships
Last May, it was learned that Nicolás Maduro decided to turn oil tankers into warships after guarding them with active personnel of the Venezuelan Armed Forces (FANB), given the possibility that the United States might try to block the sale of Venezuelan crude.
The vessels, used by the state oil company PDVSA, some of them flying under Panamanian flag, will now be guarded by Venezuelan military with weapons, prepared to face any blockade.
An email sent to FANB officials indicates that the decision was made “in order to fulfill training and custody functions” of the ships.
According to Hebert García Plaza, Major General of the Army, who served under Nicolás Maduro, and is now in exile, Operation Sovereign Oil, has at least 15 vessels that will have military weapons, each will have 2 AK-47s, which will be handled by professional military.
The Maduro regime’s decision is related to the oil embargo imposed by the United States on all shipping companies and ships that choose to send Venezuelan crude to other countries, especially Cuba; and it is also related to Trump’s idea of implementing the naval blockade.