Since he took office, President Donald Trump has held Venezuela’s Socialist Dictator Nicolas Maduro’s feet to the fire, imposing crippling economic sanctions in response to the criminal regime’s human rights atrocities and theft of the Venezuelan people.
Now with former Vice President Joe Biden poised to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, a cloud of uncertainty hovers over the Venezuelan people as Biden signals he may ease up on Maduro once he takes office.
The Floridian sat down with Senator Marco Rubio who, along with Senator Rick Scott, has been at the tip of the spear, so to speak, of Trump’s foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.
Rubio said that it remains unclear what Biden will do in Venezuela and that the incoming administration had not “consulted” with him yet, adding that his concern is that they will “surround themselves with the same people from years ago, who all sort of felt like you can negotiate with [Maduro and his people].”
“Maduro is an expert at negotiating as a tactic to buy himself time,” said Sen. Rubio. “ I’m confident that that’s what Maduro thinks. He’s sitting there saying, Biden is going to come in and we’re going to have a chance to do some cosmetic things, symbolic things. You know, will release some Americans they’ve taken hostage, and then they’ll reduce sanctions and/or release some prisoners that I can always rearrest.”
While Rubio believes that Russian and Chinese influence in Venezuela is a problem, he believes that the Islamic State of Iran is the bigger threat to U.S. national security and Venezuela’s existence.
“Iran is the one that’s stealing gold,” said Rubio. “ I mean, they’re selling a dollar’s worth of gasoline for $1.50 in gold. Initially, that was coming out of the reserves of the government but increasingly, it’s the gold that they’re stripping out of the mines, out of the ground.”
Rubio continued, stating that the criminal Maduro regime has all but completely destroyed Venezuela, and has left the country looking like a “4th world” country.
“Venezuela today has all the makings of a failed state…its productive capacities wiped out, its infrastructure is decaying and collapsing, its civil societies falling apart. We have starvation and hunger levels outside of Caracas …reminiscent of you know 4th world countries in the developing world,” Rubio added.
Rubio also spoke about the remaining American interests in that country, interests that are currently in a position to help jumpstart Venezuela’s economy once Maduro is out of office.
The senior senator from Florida also warned that if the U.S. exits Venezuela, the Venezuelan people will be doomed.
“I can tell you this, if we back off, not only will Maduro remain in power for the rest of his life, which [will] pretty much condemn Venezuela to 50 years of poverty and misery,” said Rubio, before praising President Trump for addressing the Maduro problem in Venezuela.
“President Trump deserves a tremendous amount of credit because he’s done more on Cuba and Venezuela than any president in our history,” Rubio concluded.