Venezuela Launches ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ Investigation into Donald Trump

In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at a press
AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

CARACAS, Venezuela — A commission of socialist lawmakers belonging to the socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro announced on Thursday they have opened a criminal case against former American President Donald Trump on charges of “crimes against humanity.”

The investigation will allegedly determine if Trump himself incurred “criminal responsibility” by imposing sanctions on Maduro during his tenure, a move intended to punish the regime for its litany of human rights atrocities against Venezuelans.

The commission, led by socialist lawmaker Pedro Infante of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), is accusing Trump of having committed “crimes against humanity” by imposing sanctions. The charges specifically address sanctions Trump imposed on Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state oil company.

“It is about determining the scope and consequences of Donald Trump’s confessions about his intent to collapse the country and practically steal the oil,” Infante said in reference to statements issued by the former President during a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, held in June.

“When I left, Venezuela was ready to collapse, we would’ve taken it over and would’ve gotten all that oil,” Trump said. “But now we’re buying oil from Venezuela, so we’re making a dictator very rich.”

Maduro immediately described Trump’s statements as a “confession” of the alleged crimes committed against Venezuela. 

“The former president of the United States, Donald Trump, declared his crime,” Maduro said in June. “A crime against humanity against the people of Venezuela. He declared that the objective of his government and of the aggression and sanctions against Venezuela, was to make Venezuelan society collapse so that the imperialist power of the United States could take over Venezuelan oil. To take over the wealth of Venezuela.”

“A good lawyer would say when there’s a confession, you need no proof,” he continued. “Trump has declared his guilt for crimes against humanity against the noble and peaceful people of Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan lawmaker commission expects to present its first report to the socialist-led National Assembly by next week. Infante claimed that the results of their investigation will be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and other global bodies.

“We think we should take this to the International Criminal Court, denounce it as a crime against humanity, the United Nations and the various international parliaments,” Infante added.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is presently conducting an investigation into allegations of torture, extrajudicial killings, and other crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime.

During the administration of former President Donald Trump, the United States  — alongside other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and European Union members — imposed sanctions on Maduro and members of his authoritarian socialist regime in response to continued human rights violations. The Trump administration also imposed oil sanctions on PDVSA in 2019 after Maduro refused to step down, clinging to power through a sham presidential election in May 2018 in which only handpicked candidates were allowed to participate.

The Maduro regime has repeatedly blamed sanctions, especially those imposed by the Trump administration, for the collapse of Venezuela and its economy — despite the fact that there is extensive documented evidence of the collapse of Venezuela starting long before the beginning of Trump’s presidency in January 2017. Shortages of basic items such as toilet paper, food, medicine, and other supplies began more than ten years ago, during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Maduro, alongside other members of his socialist regime, have demanded the lifting of all sanctions as an inflexible condition towards holding “free and fair” presidential elections next year — a demand they have rhetorically branded as “sanctions-free fair elections.”

Current President Joe Biden eased some of the Trump-era sanctions in 2022, allowing California-based Chevron to produce and export oil from Venezuela to the United States, among other concessions. The Biden administration also lifted sanctions on Maduro’s nephew and former treasurer Carlos Erik Malpica Flores and released the dictator’s convicted “narco-nephews” from prison, who had been caught by DEA officials in 2015 attempting to move 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

The socialist lawmakers’ investigation, according to Infante, will be carried out based on the framework of Venezuela’s Penal Code, which, the socialist lawmaker asserted, was violated by members of the “traitorous opposition” that made calls for sanctions on the socialist regime.

Infante quoted the legal section of the Venezuelan code that permits sentences of up to 30 years in prison — Venezuela’s maximum penalty — for those who, “in agreement with a foreign nation or with foreign enemies, conspire against the integrity of the territory or against its institutions.”

The current members of Venezuela’s legislative National Assembly were elected in a sham election held in December 2020. Prior to the sham election, Maduro accused Trump of trying to “sabotage” it in September 2020 by allegedly ordering “opposition” politicians to persuade voters not to participate in the event.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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