One excerpt from former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe’s new book that hasn’t gotten much coverage is a revealing quote from Trump about Venezuela and its oil supply.
Journalist Aaron Maté tweeted the revealing exchange on page 136 of McCabe’s new book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, in which McCabe described a 2017 meeting with President Trump about Venezuela in the Oval Office.
“That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil, and they’re right at our back door,” McCabe wrote. “He continued on, rambling and spitballing about whatever came to mind.”
Page 136 of McCabe's new book, recounting a 2017 Oval Office meeting: "Then the president talked about Venezuela. That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door." pic.twitter.com/RY39h1dXoc
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) February 18, 2019
President Trump has repeatedly insisted that his effort at attempting to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro are only based in the interests of providing “a safe and prosperous future for all of the people of Venezuela,” according to a recent speech he gave in Miami. Trump recently recognized Venezuelan parliament leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, and Guaidó has since appointed himself president, hoping for U.S. intervention to make his rule official.
However, President Trump’s own National Security Advisor and at least one member of the U.S. Senate has openly said that their attempts to foment a coup are at least partially motivated by Venezuelan oil supplies. Last month, National Security Advisor John Bolton told Fox Business that removing Maduro and installing Guaidó would be “a major step forward,” for “everyone on the political level around the world and at the business level.”
“Biggest buyers of Venezuelan oil are @ValeroEnergy & @Chevron. Refining heavy crude from #Venezuela supports great jobs in Gulf Coast,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) tweeted in January.
For the sake of these U.S. workers I hope they will begin working with administration of President Guaido & cut off illegitimate Maduro regime.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 24, 2019
One component critical to the Trump administration’s strategy of overthrowing the Maduro regime was to get some of his top generals to defect and support the opposition. However, that strategy has backfired, as Maduro’s generals are sticking with the democratically elected leader. According to The Guardian, the military has remained loyal to the administration since former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez took over in 1999:
Ricardo Sucre, a military expert and former naval officer, says that ever since Hugo Chávez ushered in Venezuela’s socialist revolution in 1999, the government has promoted a so-called civic-military union in which troops and officers involve themselves in all aspects of national development.
A one-time army paratrooper, Chávez remained deeply involved in military affairs during his 14 years in power, weighing in on everything from promotions to the color of uniforms.
In a recent interview with the BBC, President Maduro said the attempts to overthrow him were part of a “political war of the American empire,” and that the United States was ruled by “extremist sectors of the white supremacists of the Ku Klux Klan.”
“They have created a political, communications, and diplomatic strategy,” Maduro said. “They are warmongering to take over Venezuela.”
“It’s an extremist grouping that hates the world. They hate us and belittle us because they only believe in their own interests,” he added.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.