President Trump is delivering a speech to the Venezuelan community in Miami, as his administration cracks down on Nicolas Maduro’s regime and insists all options are on the table to pressure him to step down. The Trump administration has already imposed sanctions to pressure Maduro’s regime and has recognized Juan Guaidó, the speaker of the National Assembly as Venezuela’s interim president.
Last week in a meeting with Colombian President Iván Duque at the White House, the president said he’s looking at “all options” to deal with the crisis in Venezuela, which shares a border with Colombia. Guaidó and Maduro are locked in a standoff for control of Venezuela, an oil-rich country whose economy has crumbled in recent years.
Last month, national security adviser John Bolton stood in front of the White House press corps with a legal pad that said “5,000 troops to Colombia,” a note the White House declined to clarify beyond the president’s remarks that all options are on the table.
The president’s speech is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. at Florida International University.
Here are the highlights of Trump’s prepared speech
Here are some of the highlights provided by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders ahead of the president’s address:
- Strong support for interim President Juan Guaidó;
- The current path toward democracy is irreversible — Venezuelan military officials have a clear choice – work toward democracy for their future and the future of their families, or they will lose everything they have;
- The United States knows where military officials and their families have money hidden throughout the world. The military and security forces should listen to Guaidó and allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela
- Venezuela should not be a puppet state of Cuba;
- The successful peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela will help promote democracy in Nicaragua and Cuba.
Trump to call on Maduro to leave power
Mr. Trump’s speech will call on Maduro to formally leave power in Venezuela to Guaido, senior White House officials tell CBS News’ Fin Gomez.
The president will also discuss aid efforts in Venezuela, and elaborate how the Maduro regime is hurting the Venezuelan people. Mr. Trump has used Venezuela as an example of what, in the administration’s view, happens when a country turns to socialism. The president and his allies have pointed to Venezuela as what could happen if a liberal Democrat wins the White House in 2020.