On Sunday, former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters took to Twitter to slam the Trump administration for its actions regarding Venezuela as Waters accused the administration of “trying to destroy” Venezuela’s democracy “so the 1% can plunder their oil.”
The Trump administration has taken a hard line on Venezuela; as Military Times reported, on Sunday President Trump stated that a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela is still under consideration, as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has refused to cede his position to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who declared himself interim president of the country and was recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate leader by the U.S.
Maduro has retained support from much of the military, but there are beginning to be defections; CBC reported:
Air Force Gen. Francisco Yanez, who switched allegiance to Guaido on Friday and called on his fellow officers to do the same … One retired Air Force general did follow Yanez’s lead on Saturday. Jorge Oropeza Pernalete put on his old flight suit to call on his comrades to turn their backs on the regime. Oropeza was the top commander of the Air Force under President Hugo Chavez until 2012 … Air Force Maj. Raynell Martinez Mujica posted her own pro-Guaido video on Saturday in which she echoed Yanez’s statement that “90 per cent of the members of the armed forces are against Nicolas Maduro. Just hours later, another Air Force major, Víctor Romero Melendez, followed suit, holding his sabre in one hand.
CBS News reported on Monday regarding Maduro, “He has accused the United States of planning a coup in the South American country, and warned President Trump in an interview broadcast on Spanish television that he is, ‘making mistakes that are going to stain your hands with blood!’”
Last Friday, speaking at a Venezuela Solidarity Event, Vice President Mike Pence stated:
The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, and freedom has the momentum. Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolas Maduro must go. Just three weeks ago, the National Assembly –- the only legitimate elected body in Venezuela -– declared that it no longer recognized the Maduro regime. The National Assembly invoked the constitution and recognized a new leader, a man who speaks for the people of Venezuela and cherishes their rights …
As we gather here, Venezuela’s socialism has shrunk their economy by nearly half. More than 9 out of 10 people live in poverty, and the average Venezuelan has lost more than 20 pounds through deprivation and malnutrition. Thousands of Venezuelan children are starving at this very hour. And rising desperation has fueled a mass exodus. More than three million Venezuelans have now abandoned their beloved country. And if things don’t get better, another two million are expected to follow them before the year is out.
And those who stay behind are subject to lawlessness and crime, as well as deprivation. Thieves in Venezuela don’t target banks; they target restaurants. Vicious gangs and government-backed cartels have turned the streets into literal warzones. Venezuela now has the second-highest murder rate in the world, and more than 70 people are slaughtered every single day.
For years, the Venezuelan people have tried to save their country in the ballot box. In 2015, they elected the National Assembly that is still Venezuela’s best hope. But in response, the dictator imprisoned his opponents, orchestrated sham elections, cracked down on protests with lethal force. In fact, in just the past two weeks, security forces have jailed more than 850 protestors, and murdered at least 40 more.
We will never forget them. We will always honor the memory of the martyrs who died for democracy in Venezuela … And since oil is the lifeblood of that corrupt regime, this week the United States of America sanctioned Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. Venezuela’s oil belongs with the Venezuelan people.
This is no time for dialogue; this is time for action. And the time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all. To that end, the United States will continue to exert all diplomatic and economic pressure to bring about a peaceful transition to democracy. But those looking on should know this: All options are on the table. And Nicolas Maduro would do well not to test the resolve of the United States of America …
And to them we say, as you make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the President of the United States and the American people, we say to all the good people of Venezuela: Estamos con ustedes. We are with you, we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored. And we also say from our hearts that as you take to the streets again, know that you do not go alone. You go with the support of the American people and with freedom-loving people all across the world. And you also go, I believe with all of my heart, with the author of freedom, who said, “Do not be afraid; stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… for where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Waters was pilloried for his remarks on Twitter: