Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro denounced U.S. President Donald Trump for his speech Monday warning that democracy would soon return to the country.
He called Trump’s remarks “Nazi-like” and the Trump administration generally “white supremacist.”
Maduro responded to the Monday speech late that day, threatening Venezuelan military action against the United States. President Trump has repeatedly stated he cannot rule out a military response to Maduro’s belligerence against Washington and flagrant human rights abuses against his own people. Maduro has routinely threatened the lives of U.S. troops in his speeches.
“The FANB [Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela] are authorized to respond with all morale to Donald Trump, the boss of the empire,” Maduro asserted. “We will respond with morale, we will respond with truth, with union.”
Of the speech in question, Maduro said it was “an almost Nazi-style speech to ban ideologies” and accused Trump of wanting to impose “the sole mentality of the white supremacists in the White House.” Trump, he continued, was seeking to “enslave Venezuela.”
“In Venezuela,” he concluded, “we will continue to live with diversity of ideas, respecting the belief that anyone can think what they want.”
Venezuela is one of the most politically repressed nations in the world. NGOs operating on the ground have evidence that Maduro is currently keeping nearly 1,000 political prisoners behind bars for opposing socialism or his regime specifically. Most political prisoners were arrested last month during the inauguration of legitimate Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó, who Maduro refuses to acknowledge. Maduro’s armed forces have killed hundreds, including many teens as young as 14, for expressing dissent with the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Those who have survived political prison in Venezuela say that beatings, rape, and psychological torture are common, including prisoners forced to beat each other, crucifixion, sleep deprivation, and forced stress poses, illegal under international law.
In addition to comparing Trump to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), Maduro’s regime made a plea through its foreign ministry for the world to oppose any actions highlighting Maduro’s abuses.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces once more before the international community that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has again threatened Venezuela with military action in a clear violation of the principles established in the United Nations Charter,” the Foreign Ministry alleged. “Before the evident failure of the coup agenda designed in Washington with the objective of installing a puppet government in Venezuela … Donald Trump now wants to dictate orders directly to Venezuelan soldiers.”
Trump did not order the Venezuelan military to act in any way during his speech Monday, nor did he threaten military force. Instead, the U.S. president urged Maduro to “end this nightmare of poverty, hunger, and death for your people. Let your people go. Set your country free.”
He did note that America seeks “a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open.” He urged the world to abandon the toxic ideology of socialism and warned that socialism anywhere threatens all democracies.
“Socialism, by its very nature, does not respect borders. It does not respect boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens or its neighbors,” Trump said. “It’s always seeking to expand, to encroach, and to subjugate others to its will.”
He concluded by rejecting the idea that Maduro is acting in the best interests of the Venezuelan people: “Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot; he is a Cuban puppet.”
The Cuban government controls almost all the day-to-day logistics of running Venezuela, according to many defecting members of the Maduro regime and evidence compiled by journalists and political activists. In 2017, a defecting Venezuelan general unveiled that Cuba had deployed nearly 100,000 government agents – soldiers, prison guards, propaganda officials, etc – to run the Venezuelan government. Political prisoners have regularly testified to hearing distinct Cuban accents in prison torture chambers and among the guards assigned to prisoners of conscience. The Maduro regime has not worked to hide this fact, either – in 2014, then-vice president and current Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced that the Cubans were “here to stay.” Maduro also makes routine visits to Havana for political guidance on how to suppress dissident activity.
The Castro regime has been attempting to colonize Venezuela to exploit its oil resources since the 1960s.