Has President Trump's Policies And Strategies On Venezuela Resulted In The Souring Of Relations With Latin America?

Alex Horton, Greenwich/Washington Post: Trump soured relations in Latin America. China and Russia have welcomed the chaos.

With Venezuela in flames, China and Russia are seeking claims in the rubble.

But the United States has been caught flat-footed, and the Pentagon is struggling to develop ways to blunt the countries' influence in Latin America since President Donald Trump has antagonized and distanced himself from nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Defense officials have sought non-force options to deter China and Russia in Venezuela, CNN reported this week, through a mix of humanitarian missions and more training in Latin America led by U.S. Southern Command, the Pentagon arm that oversees a sixth of the world's land mass.

Yet experts said those efforts and others are in opposition to pressure and rhetoric from the White House, which has made significant demands to Latin American nations to curb migration and drug trafficking without offering much in return - all while ceding influence and support that Russia, and particularly China, have been happy to take over.

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WNU Editor: I disagree with the above post. One .... Venezuela was in a mess long before President Trump was elected in 2016, and China and Russia have always played a significant role in Venezuela starting when Chavez was in power. Two .... Venezuela owes both China and Russia tens of billions of dollars, putting Venezuela in a debt trap that has resulted in almost all of its oil exports being essentially given (yes given) to both Russia and Venezuela. This has nothing to do with Trump and his policies. Three .... China has pledged to invest $250 billion in Latin America with the goal of reaching half a trillion dollars in trade. But this promise to invest is not as rosy as it looks. China will lend money on the condition that its workers and resources are used for infrastructure projects, and in turn this money must be paid off at interest rates and promises that many countries in Africa and Asia have learned are not attractive as promised. As for trade .... everyone knows that when it comes to China it must be one way. Sell resources to China cheap, buy finished Chinese products at the expense of local markets. This IMHO is not a win for Latin America. Four .... Trump is not responsible for the souring of relations with Latin America. The U.S. has had a lousy history with the Americas going back decades, but what is different today is that there is a coalition of countries (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, etc.) that are working with the U.S. on how to respond to the disaster in Venezuela, and that is new and due to President Trump's diplomacy. As for the current migration crisis. Tens of millions of Latin Americans have made it known that they want to migrate to the U.S. in the next few years .... Gallop Poll: 42 Million Latin Americans Say They Want To Move To The U.S. (February 11, 2019). This is not President Trump's fault. Most Latin American governments have failed miserably in providing the basic needs to their population, and in this regard Venezuela is the worst culprit in Latin America today.

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