Marlyse Vieira ’17
Tension between the U.S. and Venezuela has been increasing recently, leading to a series of diplomatic measures taken by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his administration to “halt American meddling”.
Last Monday, March 2nd, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced the demand for the U.S. to reduce the size of its staff at the American embassy in Caracas from 100 to 17 individuals so that it will supposedly match the number of Venezuelan personnel in the U.S. The Venezuelan government will also begin requiring Americans to have a visa and pay a fee to enter the country.
Accompanying these measures is the accusation made by Maduro that Vice President Joe Biden has been involved in a plot to overthrow him, an allegation that the U.S. called “ludicrous”. The U.S. believes the claims are just a way to divert attention from the worsening economic situation and growing shortages in Venezuela, which is currently under a socialist regime. Experts and critics of the Venezuelan government consider rigid price and currency controls to be at fault for the economic crisis.
Last year, the Obama administration sanctioned top Venezuelan officials by “freezing their U.S. assets and revoking their visas”, and it is now assessing other ways to put new pressure on Maduro’s government.