By Daniel Larison
When Trump said he was considering a blockade of Venezuela yesterday, it was possible to dismiss it as a meaningless statement that would have no policy implications. Unfortunately, Trump seems to have meant what he said:
It sounds like the Trump administration is moving towards military intervention against Venezuela after all. Ever since the failed would-be coup at the end of April, it seemed as if Trump had written off Venezuela and had turned his attention elsewhere. Now it appears that the U.S. could begin imposing a military blockade of the country in the coming months. The humanitarian implications of a blockade alone make it completely unjustifiable. Set aside for a moment the fact that blockading Venezuela serves no U.S. interests and would have no international legitimacy or support, and just consider that it would speed up and exacerbate a likely famine that our government’s sanctions have already hastened. Blockading a country suffering from a major economic and humanitarian crisis would be criminal, and it would inflict even more misery and death on tens of millions of innocent people….