With withering poll numbers and a flip of control of the Senate ever more likely, Donald Trump may be preparing to end Radical Republican rule with one last big bang—a war in South America.
For over a year now, our country has been quietly building forces near Venezuela, a nation with a leftist regime that this country has long sought to upend. Just last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a whirlwind three-day tour of Venezuela’s neighboring countries:
- Colombia, which is supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido; oil-rich Suriname
- English-speaking Guyana, where the U.S. military has been active for more than a year and the U.S. has encouraged a new right-wing government
- And, most interestingly, an airbase in Brazil’s Amazonian province of Roraima, which borders Venezuela
Pompeo’s apparent objective: Get them to agree to an even greater U.S. military presence on their land and sea.
"The Trump administration and its Venezuelan and international allies have set the stage for an October surprise, a possible attack by the United States or one of its proxies designed to boost President Trump’s reelection," wrote Leonardo Flores, a U.S. based anti-war activist from Venezuela, in September.
With less than a week before Election Day, there may not be time now for Trump to attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. But that doesn’t mean Trump wouldn’t make an effort post-election.
Guyana is thought to be the key to whatever plans the United States has for the area. Venezuela and Guyana have a long-standing border dispute over oil-rich lands.
Pompeo, who headed the CIA before assuming his current post, is a strong supporter of Guyana’s new president, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, a former cabinet minister who took office in August while under 19 indictments for fraud. The cases were dropped when he assumed the top government post.
There has been relatively little reporting in our country on developments in the region, although some U.S. organizations and the press in Venezuela, Guyana and elsewhere have provided plenty of dots to be connected:
- Last year, we launched operation New Horizons in Guyana, which was billed as ‘humanitarian’. The commander of the operation called it an “insurance policy” if a conflict breaks out in the region.
- In early April, we began a massive deployment of warships and aircraft to the area—a doubling of U.S. military resources in the region.
- Less than a month later, Trump issued an executive order mobilizing armed forces reservists for “anti-narcotics” operations in the Caribbean, specifically focusing on Venezuela, which is not a major source of drugs entering our country.
- In late summer, the Brazilian Air Force and the Colombian military held joint military exercises in the region.
- Also over the summer, the U.S. Army deployed 45-members of its elite Security Force Assistance Brigade to Colombia—the first time this special training and advising outfit had been sent to South America; its usual haunts are in the likes of Afghanistan and Africa.
- In September, just after Pompeo’s visit, the United States and Guyanese governments announced joint military patrols on the Venezuelan border.