Trump’s New Sanctions Give Maduro Opportunity to Purge Opposition

Vows Treason Charges for Opposition Figures

The Venezuelan opposition has been warning from the start that efforts by President Trump to move against the Maduro government would only strengthen his hand in moving against political rivals. That has been going unheeded, with Trump today imposing broad sanctions, banning the trade of Venezuelan debt in the US, and aiming to bankrupt the country.

Unsurprisingly, Maduro is wasting no time taking advantage of this, with his government accusing Trump of trying to promote a crisis in Venezuela to establish control over them. Maduro went on to promise to charge his political opponents with treason, accusing them of being in league with Trump.

Maduro singled out Congressional President Julio Borges as the “mastermind” of Trump’s plot, and called on the constitutional assembly, recently created and stacked with Maduro allies, to move against him quickly.

Maduro went on to insist he is ready to “any possible US incursion.” Though it’s unlikely a US invasion is imminent, the comments suggest Maduro is threatening to use the military against alleged US proxies,which is to say his main political rivals.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.