USA studies to include Venezuela in the list of sponsors of terrorism

USA studies to include Venezuela in the list of sponsors of terrorism

The government of Donald Trump studies to include Venezuela in the list of sponsors of international terrorism for its alleged links with organizations such as Hezbollah or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), according to the Washington Post published today.

This list, now integrated by Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan, is reserved for countries that have "supported acts of international terrorism on repeated occasions" and carries severe sanctions.

Cuba was also part of this list -for its alleged links with the FARC and with the also disappeared ETA- between 1982 and 2015, the year in which the Government of Barack Obama withdrew it within the framework of the melting process between the two countries.

According to The Washington Post, which cites officials under condition of anonymity and internal government emails, the State Department, responsible for the list, has already asked other government agencies for their opinion on the inclusion of Caracas.

The sources cited by the capital newspaper did not reveal whether Trump has already made the decision, which among other things could imply an embargo on Venezuelan oil.

Some Republicans, like the influential senator Marco Rubio, have accused Nicolás Maduro's government of having links with international terrorism and have advocated the inclusion of Venezuela in the list.

However, the consequences that this decision would have for the oil sector have made other Republicans in states with refineries such as Texas or Louisiana reject the measure.

In addition, experts question Venezuela's alleged links with international terrorist organizations.

"I suspect that this (inclusion in the list) will be based on rumors and sources of questionable integrity," David Smilde, of the Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA) study center, told The Washington Post.

The designation of Venezuela as a sponsoring country for terrorism could weaken the international legitimacy of the list, said experts consulted by the newspaper.

Since his arrival at the White House almost two years ago, Trump has hardened US strategy against Caracas, including economic sanctions against Maduro himself, his wife, Cilia Flores, or his vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, among many other officials close to the president.

The US president has also left open the door to a military intervention in the Caribbean country, and according to The Washington Post officials of his government have met on several occasions with Venezuelan military interested in promoting a coup against Maduro.


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