President Donald Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine, Thursday, Jan 17, 2019, at the Pentagon. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON — In two years as president, Donald Trump built a foreign policy strategy on applying as much pressure as possible on enemies — and even some allies — to make them bend to America's will.
Venezuela, North Korea and Iran have all been targets of the administration's "maximum pressure" approach. Under Trump, U.S. sanctions were deployed to notable effect: Venezuela's battered economy is more isolated than ever, Iran has seen oil sales plummet and North Korea has struggled as fuel and electricity shortages crimp output and food shortages loom.
Yet no adversary has buckled. So, short of war, what does the U.S. do now?
An opposition supporter holds a Venezuelan flag during a rally against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and to commemorate May Day in Caracas Venezuela, May 1, 2019. (Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino)
CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan general called on the country's armed forces on Sunday to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro, who has relied on the backing of the military to hold on to power despite an economic collapse.
It may be too soon for your friend and humble Pentagon correspondent to submit an embed request for Operation Venezuela Libre, but the Pentagon is certainly thinking about what's going on south of the border.
On April 30, it appeared as though Venezuela's dictator Nicolas Maduro was about to fall when opposition leader Juan Guaidó appealed to Venezuelan armed forces to join him.
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) anchors off the coast of Peru on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command's Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Bigley)
The Defense Department planned Friday to send a Navy hospital ship to help alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as senior national security officials convened at the Pentagon to discuss military options for pressuring the country's president to step down.
Officials said the Comfort, a 1,000-bed vessel, probably would be sent off the coast of northern Colombia, near enough to treat refugees who have fled Venezuela.
Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country's rightful interim ruler, take part in a rally against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and to commemorate May Day in Caracas, Venezuela May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
CARACAS (Reuters) - Thousands of marchers began street protests on Wednesday to try to force leftist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power as tension grew between Russia and the United States over the political standoff in the OPEC-member nation.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido faced a test of support after calling for the "largest march" in Venezuela's history against Maduro, even as the military has so far resisted calls to help remove him.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to impose a "full and complete embargo" and further sanctions on Cuba if its Communist leadership does not immediately end its military support for Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolas Maduro.
Trump issued his ultimatum to Havana in a message on Twitter as his administration threw its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido's strongest call yet for the military to help him oust Maduro during a day of upheaval in the South American country.