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Washington Might Include Venezuela In ‘Sponsors Of Terrorism’ List

Maduro

The Trump administration is considering adding Venezuela to its list of countries sponsoring terrorism in the latest pressure increase on Caracas, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the discussions.

However, proving this could be difficult, a government official who declined to be named in the Reuters report, said. The discussions were the result of the efforts of Senator Marco Rubio who has for a while now insisted that Washington increase the pressure on Caracas, despite evidence that this sort of pressure is not working as intended, with the Maduro government remaining in place despite a string of sanctions.

If the White House decides to go through with the inclusion in the list, which currently contains four countries—Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Sudan—it will make life even more difficult for Venezuelans already suffering from hyperinflation and shortage of basic goods that have spurred an exodus to neighboring countries.

If the country is added to the list of sponsors of terrorism, chances are its population will once again bear the brunt of geopolitical conflict: U.S. economic assistance would be curbed and further financial restrictions will be added to already existing ones.

According to Reuters, Rubio and another two Republican senators wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo two months ago, urging him to include Venezuela in the terrorism sponsors list on the grounds that it had been providing funding to Hezbollah in Lebanon and FARC in Colombia. However, the senators did not provide proof for their accusations.

The Washington Post, which first broke the news, quoted an expert from the Washington Office on Latin America, senior fellow David Smilde, as saying “I suspect this will be based on hearsay and sources of questionable integrity.”

Reuters quoted a spokesperson for the State Department as saying the department “consistently and on an ongoing basis reviews available information and intelligence, from many sources, on possible state-level involvement in terrorism, evaluating all credible, verified, and corroborated information in its entirety.”

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Phil Mirzoev on November 20 2018 said:
    Strange that the US hasn't done it already. That's what the US State apparatus does without trying to put too much delicate veil and creative varnish on their bulling of and political and economic aggression against nations that actually pose no threat and no toll on the US - only because those nations don't want to be US sutherens or give away their natural resources to the US companies. They just call them terrorists, just like they continued to keep Nelson Mandela on the terrorist list till 2008
  • Dan on November 20 2018 said:
    If providing funding to terrorist groups puts you in the list, would not the U.S.be on that list also? Yes, no question. Possibly everyone is a terrorist who questions the dollar as reserve currency. Doesn't sound like a plan that would make it past my 9 th grade honors English teacher. This is more like watching children make up rules to a game and they don't want anyone else to play with the ball. I'm ashamed.
  • EHLipton on November 20 2018 said:
    This is beginning to look like isolationism. Are you sure this guy has a U.S. birth certificate?

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