Maduro fears Trump Assassination Attempt

Socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the Trump administration on Thursday of planning an assassination attempt on him.

Background

Hugo Chavez hand selected Nicolas Maduro as his successor. However, a year after Chavez’s death in 2013, Maduro, Venezuela’s new president, was hit with an unexpected crisis: the sudden drop in oil prices. Venezuela’s socialist economy was almost entirely funded by the country’s oil exports. When oil prices plummeted, the Venezuelan economy went down with it. Maduro’s ‘magic formula’ as he called it, included printing large amounts of new money; as a result, the value of the Bolivar has plummeted.

The IMF has said inflation in Venezuela could top one million percent in 2018. Hyperinflation has led to mass starvation, pitiful healthcare, violent crime and a migration crisis: at least 2 million Venezuelans have fled the country. Maduro has rejected help, claiming western countries were using humanitarian aid as a cover to invade the country. He has denied the crisis emphatically, claiming it has been exaggerated as part of a western conspiracy. Earlier today, the president accused the American government of attempting to have him assassinated. 

Analysis


The White House accused Maduro’s government on Wednesday of involvement in the death of a jailed Venezuelan politician whom authorities say killed himself but whom opposition parties say was murdered.

Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, said in a televised broadcast on Thursday night the United States had asked the government in neighbouring Colombia to kill him.

“They have given the order from the White House that Maduro be killed,” said Maduro, flanked by workers. He vowed that “they will not even touch a single hair of mine.”

Maduro did not give an explanation for his accusations and did not provide any evidence. Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for further information.

The Venezuelan president avers that he is the victim of an “economic war” led by U.S.-backed adversaries. He denies limiting political freedoms, insisting that Washington-supported opposition leaders have plotted assassination attempts and sought to overthrow him through violent street protests.

Washington has previously imposed sanctions on Venezuela, denouncing Maduro as a dictator who has quashed human rights and triggered an economic meltdown.

Asked about Maduro’s comments, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council said: “U.S. policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged.”

Assessment

Our assessment is that sooner or later, the government of Venezuela will be forced to address their own pressing problems in ways other than blaming unfounded western conspiracies.