Juan Guaido has a presidential problem — and it’s not Donald Trump — as the crisis in Venezuela rages on.
International spectators are watching the power struggle between Guaido, the man recognized by the United States and other nations as the interim President of Venezuela since January, and the incumbent leader he’s failed to oust, President Nicolás Maduro.
The question on the minds of strategists is: Will it end in a civil war? Yet, many countries haven’t taken action.
Sen. Rick Scott, who has been vocal in his support for American intervention in Venezuela, encouraged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to lead a delegation of EU nations to the Venezuela border to see the crisis themselves and to inform their decision about imposing sanctions on the leader believed to be illegitimate.
In an American effort to support Guaido’s move to democracy in Venezuela, Trump’s been imposing waves of sanctions against the Maduro regime, who still maintains control of the country and its military, since Guaido announced his win earlier this year.
The existing orders from the President impact the country’s overall wealth, erode diplomatic relations between the countries and impose “heavy sanctions on Venezuela’s crucial oil industry” among other things, according to CBC.
In orders issued Friday, Trump is imposing a new sanction that targets Maduro’s son, Nicolás Ernesto Maduro Guerra. The new sanction will freeze any of the young Maduro’s American assets and prevents him from working with U.S. businesses.
This is the latest in U.S. sanctions that have been issued to over 150 members of Maduro’s inner circle. Critics say the heavy hitting sanctions are impacting the delicate humanitarian crisis and creating more refugees due to economic destabilization.
Sen. Marco Rubio praises the President for taking swift and decisive action, however. In a news release, Rubio’s office said:
“The Trump administration’s new sanctions target corrupt and criminal Maduro thugs who are directly responsible for the ongoing countrywide electrical blackouts that are harming the Venezuelan people and their access to basic goods, potable water, healthcare, and social services.”
Around four million refugees have fled Venezuela since 2015.