News / Americas

Analysts: Some US Lawmakers Back Venezuela Sanctions to Loosen Cuba Ties

Analysts: Some US Lawmakers Back Venezuela Sanctions to Loosen Cuba Tiesi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Brian Padden
March 15, 2014 12:43 AM
In the U.S., Cuban-American politicians are some of the most vocal critics of the Venezuelan government for what they say is violent repression. While these lawmakers have led efforts to punish the Venezuelan leadership with sanctions, VOA’s Brian Padden reports their goal also may be hit Cuba.
Analysts: Some US Lawmakers Back Venezuela Sanctions to Loosen Cuba Ties
Brian Padden
In the United States, Cuban American politicians are some of the most vocal critics of the Venezuelan government for what they say has been its violent repression of ongoing anti-government demonstrations across the country. While these staunch anti-communist lawmakers have led efforts to punish the Venezuelan leadership with sanctions, some say their goal may may be to destabilize Cuba.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida are Cuban Americans who have led efforts in Congress to impose sanctions on Venezuela.

The limited sanctions that include banning visas and freezing the U.S. assets of Venezuela's leaders will send a message -- they say -- condemning the use of force against anti-government protesters there.  

Strategic goal

Their motivation is in part strategic, though, according to William LeoGrande, Professor of Latin American politics at American University. The goal, he said, is to break up Venezuela’s close alliance with Cuba and end the flow of cheap oil the Venezuelan government provides to Castro’s communist regime.

“If the current government of Venezuela were to be overthrown, a conservative government would probably cut that assistance to Cuba and thereby destabilize the situation in Cuba. That, I think, is what conservative Cuban Americans are after,” said LeoGrande.

There is public anger in Venezuela about basic food and supply shortages, rampant inflation and the high crime rate, fueling sometimes violent demonstrations in this oil-rich country.

Venezuela’s leaders blame the United States for inciting and supporting the demonstrations. The U.S. has denied any such involvement.

Targeting Cuba

Cuban American leaders like Rubio blame Cuba for orchestrating Venezuela’s use of force against the protesters.

“… the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela,” said Rubio.

Carl Meacham, the director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said this assertion mischaracterizes the longstanding socialist alliance that began during the presidency of the late Hugo Chavez.

 “So I think that even though that relationship is clear and that partnership is beneficial to both countries, I think the Venezuelans are in the driver’s seat of the developments we are seeing,” said Meacham.

While the Cuba connection may be a motivating factor for some, these analysts say broad support for sanctions in the U.S. Congress is driven by a desire to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Venezuela and to avert any potential for instability in the region.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

New Yellow Fever Research May Lead to Improved Treatment

Researchers identify features of disease that may lead to more effective treatment More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Juan Sequera from: Miami
March 14, 2014 10:26 PM
Dear Mr Padden:

Some others say that they are really trying to help the oppressed young students of Venezuela who are getting killed just for voicing their opinions. Isn't this the basic right in a democracy or we just have to second guest those leaders who are trying to help.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexico's President Discloses $3 Million in Assets

Pushed by scandal over first lady's mansion, Enrique Pena Nieto's makes public value of other assets, including investments, jewelry and art
More

Bodies of Missing Honduran Beauty Queen, Sister Found

Police say boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz shot Sofia Alvarado in a jealous rage after seeing her dancing with another man, then shot sister Maria
More

Video Mexico Protests Over Disappearances Escalate

Police allegedly handed 43 students over to a drug gang that killed them; The town's mayor and his wife have been arrested
More

Venezuela Raises Taxes on Luxury Items to Bolster Economy

With oil prices down and inflation soaring, buyers of luxury goods will pay an excise tax of 15 percent, up from 10 percent
More

Colombian Rebels Agree to Release Captured General

General Ruben Dario Alzate was seized recently in coastal region of Choco
More

Peru President Says He’s Willing to Ease Tax Burden on Business

With country’s economic growth at five-year low, Ollanta Humala signals willingness to help companies that create jobs
More