Last Thursday, President Trump announced he is sending military forces and warships to the Caribbean to combat the illegal drugs coming from Venezuela that also enrich its corrupt regime. “We must not let the drug cartels exploit the [COVID-19] pandemic to threaten American lives. In cooperation with the 22 partner nations US Southern Command will increase surveillance, disruption and seizures of drug shipments…” Trump said.

Defense Secretary Esper published a list of these forces which includes “Navy destroyers, Coast Guard cutters, Navy littoral combat ships, helicopters, Navy P-8 patrol aircraft, along with Air Force E-3 AWACS and E-8 JSTARS to carry out airborne surveillance, control, and communications,” reported the Miami Herald. The operation also includes security forces assistance brigades.


Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there were “thousands” of sailors, Coast Guardsmen, soldiers, airmen and Marines involved.

DEA via Wikimedia Commons

This military deployment is meant to perform “counternarcotics operations,” but is also aimed at denying funds to Nicolas Maduro and his closest allies, who have been recently indicted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges, said top leaders of the Trump national security team.

Last week US prosecutors indicted Venezuela’s illegitimate leader and his associates on narco-terrorism charges, and the US issued a $15 million bounty for the capture of Maduro. As Univision noted, it “also comes two days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered to lift crippling sanctions against Venezuela if Maduro agreed to a power-sharing deal with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by almost 60 countries as the legitimate president.”

According to David Adams in Univision:

“Juan Cruz, former National Security Council senior director for the Western Hemisphere, says the deployment isn’t far off a naval blockade and sends the Maduro regime “a throat-punch message.” It’s also too expensive a move to constitute a bluff. “It is intended to firmly underscore that we ain’t kidding,” he said.”

Maduro responded by tweeting Saturday that he had “ordered the mobilisation of artillery [pieces]” in the country’s strategic areas in order to protect the security of ordinary Venezuelans, reported The Nation. This mobilization is part of Venezuela’s ongoing 2020 Bolivarian Shield military drills, which began in mid-February.

Univision notes, “the defiance from Maduro is hardly unexpected and may hide heightened fears and tensions within the regime, some say.” Univision added:

“With the military headed down there the ‘chavistas are really concerned’,” said Russell Dalen, a Venezuela analyst who owns Caracas Capital Markets. The top military and political circles around Maduro had to be thinking about their own future, he said, including recovering their frozen assets, and picking up the $15 million reward for turning Maduro in.”

Maduro’s bluster follows the huge embarrassment of a Venezuelan navy ship sinking after it tried to ram a European cruise ship off its coast. Venezuela accused the Portuguese-flagged “Resolute” of “aggression and piracy”, and possibly carrying mercenaries to attack military bases in Venezuela. The cruise ship, which has a reinforced hull for polar expeditions, suffered only minor damage.

“They are idiots. They sank their own ship,” said Dalen.

While some question whether Trump should be launching major new military operations during the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic, it is important that the US show that the pandemic will not keep it from responding to other national security threats. We can fight COVID-19 and other enemies at the same time. Maduro take note.

What cities and states have told residents to stay home? Explore our map below to learn about the latest COVID-19 updates!

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Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Bill Q
Bill Q
2 years ago

Now he needs to send a message to the The dictators we have in the House , I’ll put your ass in prison if you try to pull another cue during a National Emergency Pandemic

Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Q

Absolutely !!!!!

Terry
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Q

Excellent!! I agree with you 100%.
Let’s start with Pelosi and Schumer.

Marilyn
Marilyn
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Q

Amen ! Her and her cronies.

Wyatt
Wyatt
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Q

From your lips to God’s Ears !

Nr
Nr
2 years ago

Bella Pelosi, better known as Dracula. Sneaked in a 1 billion Dollar funding for Plan Parenthood (The abortion factory) and other things that have nothing to do with the Coronavirus bill. Evil and Devious indeed! Never let a crisis go to waste is one of the Demoncrat 10 Satanic Commandments.

Wuhan Virus Bioweapon AKA: China Virus, Coronavirus weaponized by China and their treasonous Godless demoncratic Commie party and cohorts Soros the MSM fake media, academia, Hollywood, Millennials.RINOs..to crash the greatest US economy ever! And to take down the greatest president ever, President Trump!! Keep up the great work President Trump! 2020 and beyond! From the Patriots of a Commie Demoncrat deadly virus?

Carol Peterson
2 years ago
Reply to  Nr

I’m pretty certain, Nr, they struck the abortion assistance prior to passing the stimulus bill. The Senate saw it in there, and said, “No, Nannie!” That being said, I just don’t understand why, when Congress creates this kind of package, they aren’t required to include ONLY items and expenses dedicated solely to its purpose! She is one very demented woman, leading the efforts of the “do as I say, and not as I do” Democrats in their attempts to destroy our Constitution and America as we know. But there will be Civil War before we Patriots allow that to happen, and we have the Second Amendment on OUR side!

Terry
2 years ago
Reply to  Carol Peterson

It’s the Democrats way of getting what they want. It’s a “bargaining tool, a Quid Pro Quo, I’ll give you this if you give me that. I do believe you are correct that the abortion assistance was taken off the table (sick bastards) but Pelosi did get her way with $25 million to go to the Kennedy Art Center in California. The ink wasn’t dried on the check when the Kennedy Art Center fur-lowed their staff and “fiddlers” musicians (harp, etc) Now, legislate has asked that the money be returned. I’m sure it will have to be ripped out of Nancy’s cold dead hand. IT HAS BEEN SPECULATED THAT NANCY OR HER DAUGHTER IS ON THE KENNEDY BOARD OF TRUSTEES!! I wouldn’t doubt it.
And, while your Googling that, Google SALT another “goodie” Nancy is trying to get thru for the rich.

Ken Bone
Ken Bone
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry

I think that maybe Trump should not have signed the bill and let it be shown that Nancy was to blame.

JAMES BENTON
2 years ago

Send ST4 IN Bodybag Maduro take him out dump the body for shark food install Guaido bomb the hell out of the drug dealers manufacturing sites bomb the hell out of the cartel leaders big fancy compounds and homes then reload and wait and see.might get their attention who knows. JGB

ME
ME
2 years ago
Reply to  JAMES BENTON

that sounds like a makings of a good movie

DetroitDom
DetroitDom
2 years ago
Reply to  JAMES BENTON

Just put a million dollar bounty on the drug cartel kingpins – Dead or alive.

$10,000 American dollars for those who lead the American military to the hideouts and drug processing facilities.

The drug bigshots won’t be able to sleep, much less, trust anyone!! Then we can sit back as soldiers in their own drug gangs start to turn on each other.