The United States has long been a proponent of free elections around the world, and one country that has received heavy criticism for not providing free elections for its people is Venezuela. Most recently, the U.S. placed additional sanctions on the country, but the threat Venezuela poses against its people and on the world continues, especially now with its partnership with Iran.
This week, it was reported that Iran and Venezuela, both receiving sanctions and feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, are strengthening their relationship through a partnership, which provides a lifeline that President Nicolas Maduro has desperately been looking for. The relationship also provides Tehran with the opportunity to be the center of influence across the Caribbean Sea from the sunshine state.
This relationship expressed itself when five oil tankers were found steam across the Atlantic Ocean while carrying around 60 million gallons of Iranian gasoline, which analysts argue was bought with Venezuelan gold. This, Iran has denied.
Taking to Twitter to voice her disagreement of the relationship, Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) commented that “Maduro is dangerous to the people of Venezuela & Latin America at large, & these latest interactions with Iran further illustrate that fact.”
Maduro is dangerous to the people of Venezuela & Latin America at large, & these latest interactions with Iran further illustrate that fact.
— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) May 23, 2020
She also reaffirmed that “we must support Venezuelans yearning for democracy & freedom.”
Iran has made warnings regarding the U.S. looking to board or blockade the vessels, and Venezuela has also vowed to deploy warships to escort the convoy on its voyage.
The Fortune, one of the tankers, entered Venezuelan territory on Saturday evening.
A senior Trump official commented on Iran’s support of Maduro, saying that the administration “would not abide” by it, adding that “the president has made clear the United States will not tolerate continued meddling by supporters of an illegitimate regime.”
This, of course, is in reference to the United States being one of around 60 nations that recognize Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as the leader of Venezuela.