President Trump to Visit FIU’s Campus Monday to Discuss Venezuelan Crisis

Monday, Feb. 18, President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to visit South Florida with a stop at Florida International University’s main campus. According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere, he plans to discuss the continuing humanitarian and political crisis taking place in Venezuela that has left over 30 million Venezuelans without a stable income or source of food (CBS News).

Venezuela is currently going through a cataclysm of a humanitarian crisis, yet refuses to accept aid, as its government and economy continue to collapse under the hands of the widely unpopular president, Nicolás Maduro. A socialist-turned dictator, Maduro is responsible for the economic turmoil Venezuela is seeing today that is in large part an aggregate of poor management and a corrupt military system that has resulted in high inflation rates. To put it lightly, Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, are responsible for the fall of democracy in Venezuela. To get a better understanding of what exactly has led to this debacle, Her Campus has recently published an article with a further explanation. 

As of early January, the United States joined a number of other democratic countries in condemning the actions of Nicolás Maduro and denying him the recognition of president. Instead, Trump and his team have recognized Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, as interim president while Maduro is removed from office. In a statement on Jan. 23, President Trump spoke of Guaidó’s presidency as “the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people."

This is due to the fact that the events leading up to the presidential election, which took place in late 2018, are considered a sham because of a rigged polling system. Only 40 percent of Venezuelans voted, a percentage of which is believed to either have been bribed or illegally counted in Maduro’s favor. Trump additionally has called Maduro’s presidency “illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant." This will not be an easy feat, however, as Maduro has the advantage of still having military and the court’s support.

Courtesy: Miami Herald

 

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, in a joint statement with the President of Columbia, Ivan Duque Marquez, President Trump re-declared his support for Guaidó, and in a show of fellowship, called for the need of unity among the regional and global allies to work together “to restore freedom, democracy and prosperity to Venezuela.” 

While his visit on Monday is intended to continue to embolden Guaidó, many worry that the move to discuss Venezuela is not in favor of the Venezuelan people, but instead a political act utilizing the fear-tactic in order to gain votes in the upcoming 2020 elections. Most notably is Trump’s rhetoric surrounding socialism and its play in the downfall in Venezuela. There are those that speculate his speech will lean heavily on the need to divert away from it. Come Monday, only time will tell.