Speaking Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Trump said he believed it would be easy for the Venezuelan military to launch a coup d’etat and impose regime change. The comments came after the US imposed new sanctions on the Maduro government.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the sanctions are trying to prevent President Maduro solidifying his hold on the military. All of this comes just weeks after it was revealed that the US was in talks with coup plotters in Venezuela.
Though US officials apparently declined to back that specific coup plot, President Trump has been said to have repeatedly wanted to invade Venezuela outright. The sanctions seem designed to keep the coup option open, however.
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the sanctions were coming, he called them part of a “series of actions” against Venezuela. It is unclear what else is coming, however, and President Trump declined to provide any further details, citing military secrecy.