Trump threatens Cuba with ‘full and complete’ embargo, ‘highest-level sanctions,’ citing Venezuela role
As Venezuela plunged into a dramatic televised scene of chaos and violence on Tuesday, President Trump warned he would impose a “full and complete embargo” and sanctions on Cuba if its troops do not cease operations in the ravaged South American nation.
National Security Adviser John Bolton alleged earlier Tuesday that Cuban troops were keeping Maduro in power in Caracas.
“It’s a very delicate moment,” Bolton said, adding that “all options” remained on the table — including, potentially, a U.S. military intervention. “The president wants to see a peaceful transfer of power.”
Trump’s dramatic threat came hours after his administration resoundingly endorsed an ongoing Venezuelan opposition effort, headed by Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez, to spark a military uprising against embattled President Nicolas Maduro. The Trump administration also has worked to roll back Obama-era easing of Cold War sanctions on Cuba.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Tuesday that Maduro had been on his way out of the country bound for Cuba, but that Russia told him to remain. Bolton, meanwhile, warned Russia against interfering.
The U.S. government said about 20,000 Cuban troops and agents have been working in Venezuela to prop up Maduro’s government, a figure disputed by Cuba.