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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More

Public Transport in Latin America, Asia Most Dangerous for Women

Thousands of women and gender experts were questioned to create the listing
More

Kerry Lays Wreath for Slain Canadian Soldier

World has been witness to Canada's strength in face of tragedy, he says
More

Crowds Gather for Funeral of Canadian Soldier Killed in Ottawa

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, was shot dead in last week near Canada's parliament building in attack allegedly carried out by convert to Islam
More

Mexico Makes New Arrests in Student Disappearances

Attorney General says four more gang members from the Guerreros Unidos cartel who 'organized the disappearance' of the teacher trainees are in custody
More