Foreign Policy Digital

Venezuelan Democracy Was Strangled by Cuba

Decades of infiltration helped ruin a once-prosperous nation.

 The U.S. role in Venezuela has come under plenty of scrutiny in recent weeks. But far more important than the largely ineffective efforts by Washington at backing a besieged opposition has been the influence of Havana over the regimes of both former President Hugo Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro. On April 30, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a full embargo and high-level sanctions on Cuba over the alleged Cuban troop presence in Venezuela. “Hopefully, all Cuban soldiers will promptly and peacefully return to their island!” he tweeted. The Cuban government denies these accusations.

Yet the United States is not the only one making these claims. The secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, last December that the Cuban government has been involved in military and intelligence activities in Venezuela by training forces and commanding operations. And accounts from former Venezuelan military officials— by the —also suggest that Cubans are playing a critical role

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