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“The World Is Watching”

VENEZUELA 

While the U.S. President heads to Vietnam, America’s VP heads for Colombia to meet with dozens of other countries supporting the opposition to Venezuela’s current leader.

Here’s what’s going on, how we got here & why it matters.

Current Events

What’s Going On?

  • Big Picture: Venezuelans are starving & suffering (unable to get get basic goods). Gov’t in chaos.
  • Current leader Pres. Nicolás Maduro (some say “dictator“) under pressure to resign.
  • This Weekend: Anti-Maduro protests intensify. Several protesters died; 300 injured by Venezuelan troops on Sat. while trying to support humanitarian aid.
Current Events

“Every option is on the table. We’re going to do the things that need to be done, to make sure the Venezuelans voice, that democracy reigns and there is a bright future for the people of Venezuela.”

Sec. Pompeo response to a question of using U.S. military force, in addition to sanctions on current gov't & humanitarian aid, to help Venezuelans. He called Maduro a "sick tyrant" and reiterated America's support (along with 50 other nations) for the self-declared Venezuelan Pres. Juan Guaidó.
Current Events

“It’s time for our people to tell Donald Trump, ‘Donald Trump, Yankee, go home, Donald Trump.'”

Venezuela's current leader Nicolás Maduro in the Venezuela's capital surrounded by supporters. He said America wants to colonize Venezuela and take its oil. He also broke diplomatic ties with Colombia, in part for being the site of staged humanitarian aid, telling diplomats on Saturday to leave from Venezuela in 24 hours.
Current Events

ONE THING TO KNOW:

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

Saudi Arabia & Canada round out top three; U.S. is 10th.

Lucrative oil reserve makes Venezuela unique as a “petrostate” that relies on oil market to support gov’t and elite. Allies incl. other petrostates like Iran and Russia.

Current Events

How Did We Get Here?

  • Venezuela democratically elected Hugo Chavez in 1998.
  • Chavez embraced socialism; funded social programs through lucrative & volatile oil business.
  • Over his 20+ yr rule, he gained more gov’t power: nationalized banks, took over private land, etc.
  • As dictatorship grew, economy worsened; Maduro took over when Chavez died.
Current Events

Why It Matters: Venezuela's future has the potential to impact the oil market worldwide. Humanitarian crisis & instability breeds more suffering & conflict. Venezuela's relationship w/U.S. adversaries gives our enemies a partner to our strategic south.

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