President Trump had already put Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro on notice that his regime would not last long if he didn’t change his ways and cede control.
It appears Maduro did not get the message.
Or did not care.
Because he’s doubled down and dug in, mocking Trump and telling him to “Go Home Yankee” and then setting humanitarian aid trucks on fire as they tried to help the Venezuelan people.
I suspect he’s in for a rude awakening as President Trump is sure to respond quickly and forcefully.
Clearly Maduro hasn’t been paying attention, because if he had he would know that when President Trump punches back, it’s always twice as hard as you expect and you never recover from it.
It’s time to free the Venezuelan people from the evils of socialism.
Look at these videos of humanitarian aid trucks set ablaze:
Fox News reports on Maduro mocking President Trump:
Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro vowed to defend his nation’s independence with his life during a speech before thousands of cheering supporters Saturday, calling the opposition against him a “small group of dummies” who “can’t think for themselves.”
A defiant Maduro accused the United States of trying to colonize Venezuela and seeking ways to confiscate its oil. He said those opposed to him are letting President Trump call the shots, but the Venezuelan people don’t know it.
“It’s time for our people to tell Donald Trump, ‘Donald Trump, Yankee, go home, Donald Trump,” Maduro said to throngs of supporters in Caracas wearing red shirts, the color of Venezuela’s socialist party.
“It’s time for our people to tell Donald Trump, ‘Donald Trump, Yankee, go home, Donald Trump!”— Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro
Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro cheer during a pro-government rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Maduro has closed Venezuela's borders and calls humanitarian aid destained for Venezuela part of a U.S.-led coup. (Associated Press)
Maduro also mocked Juan Guaido -- the country's self-declared interim president -- and asked why Guaido hasn’t called for an election if he truly holds power. Maduro also called Guaido a puppet of the White House.
Guaido promised to overthrow Maduro a month ago and restore democracy to the embattled nation as it faces food and medicine shortages, hyperinflation and political unrest.
The U.S. and around 50 other countries recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader.
President Trump has previously recognized the opposition party to Maduro as the legitimate authority in Venezuela, from CBS:
President Trump recognized the chief opposition leader in Venezuela, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, as the country's legitimate interim president. The rare move by the White House comes as large anti-government protests erupted across the South American nation on Wednesday.
"In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country's constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant," the president wrote in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law."
Guaidó, who leads the opposition-controlled national assembly, declared himself the country's acting president in front of thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets to denounce the repressive government of President Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó is currently in hiding at the Colombian embassy in Caracas, an opposition aide and a source close to Maduro's government told CBS News. On Twitter, he thanked Mr. Trump for backing "the will of the Venezuelan people."
In his announcement, Mr. Trump urged the international community to follow his lead and recognize Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate leader. "I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy," the president added in his statement.
A senior administration official said the U.S. government hopes Maduro will seek an "exit route" and take part in a peaceful transition of power. But the official added that "all options are on the table" for the administration to respond if Maduro and "his cronies" organize a violent crackdown against demonstrators and harm national assembly members. The president reiterated this position after hosting a health care roundtable at the White House. "All options are on the table," he told reporters on Wednesday.
After the announcement in Washington, Maduro said his government would break diplomatic relations with the U.S. He told his ardent supporters that American diplomats had 72 hours to leave the country. In a letter posted on Twitter, Guaidó asked foreign diplomatic personnel to remain in Venezuela.
The Department of Defense is working with the State Department to determine if U.S. citizens will need military assistance to leave Venezuela within three days, a defense official told CBS News.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the Organization of American States (OAS) joined the U.S. in recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela's leader Wednesday.
Bolivian president Evo Morales expressed his support for Maduro, a staunch ally and fellow leftist firebrand. "The claws of imperialism again seek to fatally harm the democracy and self-determination of the peoples of South America," Morales wrote on Twitter, denouncing American meddling in Latin America. A spokesperson for the Mexican foreign ministry said diplomatic relations between Mexico and Venezuela had not changed "for the time being."
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