The outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, on Tuesday, stopped the deportation of thousands of Venezuelan immigrants from the country.
While many have scored the die-minute order a favour to his supporters, the outgoing president said his decision to defer the deportation of over 145 thousand Venezuelans was informed by an alleged “deteriorative condition” of the country under President Nicolas Maduro.
Mr Trump’s decision negates his tough immigration policies.
Associated Press reports that Mr Trump, in his final day in office, also rolled out new financial sanctions targeted at Mr Maduro and his close allies, including Alex Saab, who has been in Cabo Verde detention since June 2020.
The sanction also includes tightening controls to keep spying technology away from the country’s military.
The political feud between Messrs Trump and Maduro administrations have run into years, plunging the latter into economic lack, despite being an oil-rich nation.
The White House intensified the economic sanctions on Mr Maduro-led administration after the latter banned Juan Guaidó, Mr Trump’s anointed candidate, from participating in the 2018 presidential election.
Not less than three individuals, including Mr Saab, and over ten businesses have allegedly been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for helping Mr Maduro ‘undemocratic’ government to undermine the economic sanctions.
While Mr Trump’s turbulent four years come to an end on Wednesday, the question on whether those economic sanctions on Venezuela would be lifted by Joe Biden presidency is much in doubt.
PREMIUM TIMES assertion of the above was deduced from the statement of Mr Biden’s choice of Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who recently promised support for Mr Guaidó, the U.S recognized Venezuelan president.
“The hard part is that for all these efforts, which I support, we obviously have not gotten the results that we need,” Mr Blinken reportedly said.
Trump hates us because we survive without him – Mr Saab writes from detention
The detained Venezuelan diplomat, in a letter obtained by this newspaper, said his detention is nothing but a witch-hunt for helping his people.
He accused Mr Trump of imposing the U.S imperialist ideals to exploit Venezuela of its crude oil, an attempt he said Mr Maduro is bent on thwarting.
“I have also had a “surplus of time” to try to understand why Donald Trump was so committed to attack the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and those of us who work to help the people of Venezuela meet their basic needs.
“The answer is simple: Trump grew up hating socialism, Latinos, African Americans, Muslims and pretty much everything that has life, except himself. Voltaire said of love of self that, just like the human reproductive system, it is necessary, it brings us pleasure, and we have to hide it. Trump obviously walked around naked,” Mr Saab said in a two-paragraph statement.
While the U.S legal-diplomatic struggles to extradite the diplomat to face alleged financial crimes lingers, Mr Saab has continued to insist on being innocent.
He said Mr Trump-led government economic sanctions have caused Venezuelans more harm than good, a move he admitted he had been working to alleviate before he was arrested in Cape Verde.
He said, “You destroy a country by stopping it working with you, stopping selling its supplies, medicines, basic foodstuffs and freezing its assets abroad (USD 70 billion dollars in Venezuela’s case).
“You stop lending it money, stop tankers from Venezuela carrying crude oil, bringing food, bringing petrol, expropriating Venezuelan companies abroad, like CTGO, all so that the country goes downhill because no one dare(s) risk going to Venezuela or working with Venezuela.
“That way, (you) try to force the “change of regime” but as Trump himself acknowledges, “we hadn’t counted on Maduro or the people of Venezuela being so resilient”. It is for exactly such a situation that OFAC was created. The ultimate Plan B,” the detained diplomat said.
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