Washington has been actively involved in the presidential crisis in Venezuela, which saw the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declare himself the country’s interim president, thus challenging the legitimately elected Nicolas Maduro.
“Stop Trump Coup in Venezuela” — this is the message that Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has shared with his Twitter followers, having lambasted the United States for destroying “real democracy” in the Latin American country and urging Washington to “leave the Venezuelan people alone”.
The rock legend, who is known for his political statements during concerts, also shared a poster, announcing an “emergency demonstration” in front of the US Mission to the United Nations in New York.
As Venezuela has faced a clear political crisis, with opposition figure Juan Guaido proclaiming himself the country’s interim president on 23 January, the United States rushed into recognising his authority and urging incumbent President Nicolas Maduro to resign.
In a bid to ramp up its pressure on Maduro and force him out of office, Washington introduced sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil giant PDVSA, and passed control over certain frozen assets held by US-insured banks to Guaido.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court, in turn, blocked Guaido’s bank accounts and financial transactions within the country’s jurisdiction, and introduced a travel ban against him until an investigation into his activities is completed.
President Maduro, for his part, has accused Washington of staging a coup in his country, and severed diplomatic ties with the United States, having dismissed the sanctions as illegal.
The US, in the meantime, has only beefed up its efforts to challenge Maduro’s power, having offered to end sanctions on senior Venezuelan Army officers if they pledge allegiance to Guaido:
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton’s tweet aligned with remarks by US President Donald Trump, who vowed in his State of the Union address Tuesday night to increase pressure on Maduro’s government, telling Congress that “we stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom”.