In Venezuela, President Trump is reminding us that America First doesn’t mean America alone.
Yesterday, President Trump announced a total economic embargo of Venezuela to freeze all assets controlled by the Maduro regime and its business dealings.
Today, Trump Administration officials are in Peru to discuss how democracy will be restored by the people of Venezuela and how the United States and our Latin American allies will continue to provide needed humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans. The United States will be joined in Peru by representatives from 59 countries, including 18 Latin American countries, the Vatican, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
President Trump is leading a unified, multi-national coalition to reject socialism in Venezuela. The embargo on Maduro is yet another example of America’s commitment to restoring Freedom in Latin America and promoting democracy abroad. In the past month, the Treasury Department sanctioned Maduro’s step-son and extended family, and the Justice Department has indicted Maduro associates for alleged money-laundering and corruption.
So why does this matter to us Americans?
Venezuela is experiencing the worst non-wartime economic collapse of any country in the last 45 years. Nearly 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015. Basic necessities like food, water, and electricity are scarce as nation-wide blackouts worsen this crisis. Horrible pictures of malnourished children and seniors in Venezuela are commonplace. All the while, a socialist dictator literally dances in the streets of Caracas as his regime clings to power with the help of Castro’s Cuba and others.
These problems are only worsened when Democrats refuse to work with Republicans to prevent open borders, strengthen our asylum laws, and fix the broken immigration system in our country.
But there is a path to Freedom in Venezuela. And this path is 100 percent Venezuelan. Interim President Juan Guaido is the only legitimate President of Venezuela pursuant to their Constitution and the National Assembly.
Until they succeed, the crisis in Venezuela will continue to adversely impact our hemisphere. Our Latin American neighbors are struggling to sustain the massive influx of Venezuelan refugees, and some of the illegal immigrant caravans at our southern border are being directly funded by Maduro.
President Trump is leading the way for all nations. America was the first country to recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate President of Venezuela, and America continues to send critical humanitarian aid to the People of Venezuela. In June, the USNS Comfort set sail to deliver medical assistance to the region and will reach Venezuela this fall.
President Trump is also taking steps to ensure that Venezuela’s economy can survive, and even thrive, as the country transitions to Democratic rule. Last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross revealed a plan to foster economic growth in Venezuela with our Latin American allies in Brazil. Part of this plan’s framework outlines “Reversing socialism,” which suggests more private investment, tax reform, and fewer state controls for Venezuelans.
The plan is a stark reminder why America can never become a socialist country. The 2020 Democrat presidential candidates are advocating to expand government’s role in healthcare, reverse historic tax reforms, and broaden federal regulations that hurt the American worker. Take note.
Like us Americans, Venezuelans deserve more than failed socialist policies. A Free and Democratic Venezuela will mean a more secure and prosperous Western Hemisphere for all of us.
Fortunately, in this difficult time, President Trump is showing all of us why America First doesn’t mean America alone. And with President Trump in the White House, America will never be a socialist country.