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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More

UN Sanctions Operator of N. Korean Ship Caught Smuggling Arms

North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang was detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tons of sugar
More

Argentina Seeks to Avoid 2nd Debt Default in 13 Years

Argentina says it will make another effort to reach a deal with a group of US creditors
More

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surge

Inaccurate claims suggest US will give amnesty to young migrants
More