In it for the oil
According to a book by former FBI director, Andrew McCabe, in July 2017, President Donald Trump told his intelligence briefers that he wondered why the United States of America was not at war with Venezuela. He added, "...they have all that oil and they’re right on our back door". Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves - a huge 18%. The American motive for war was thus crystallized as far back as 2017. Trump had, on numerous occasions, spoken about invading Venezuela. It was also not the first time he suggested that America should get oil out of wars.
In January 2017, Trump told David Muir of ABC News, "We should've taken the oil. You wouldn't have ISIS if we took the oil." So convinced of America's right to Iraqi oil is Trump that he bluntly confronted the country's then-Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi: "So what are we going to do about the oil?", before continuing, "Well, we did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil."
In 2011, Trump argued that he would only support a Libyan intervention if the United States can "take the oil". He emphatically concluded, "Without the oil, I have no interests and we shouldn't be there."
Military Intervention is an option
It would be foolhardy to think in 2019, Trump suddenly cares about the common people of Venezuela considering the contextual background of the current aggression. It is in no way impulsive but rather a calculated manouvre. Trump has confirmed that military intervention in Venezuela is an option and the West's preferred leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, has echoed the same sentiments. Trump has gone so far as warning the Venezuelan army to ditch Maduro or lose everything. Everything should be understood to mean oil and other things. Trump, however, has a somewhat insurmountable challenge in Washington - convincing Democrat lawmakers that military intervention is the solution to the current impasse. Democrats have unequivocally stated they will not support military intervention.
The Trump Card: Elliot Abrams
Trump, however, has a trump card: Elliot Abrams. Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, shows just how far gone the White House is. Elliot Abrams is a man with a bloody history. On 19 May 1987, the Los Angeles Times ran a story that exposed how the Reagan Administration, in 1986, used a humanitarian aid programme to support the secret effort to deliver military aid to the contras (U.S. backed rebel groups). Elliot Abrams was said to have been one of the men who made all significant decisions then. The same Elliot Abrams traveled to Cucuta, Colombia "to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to some of the most vulnerable people in Venezuela in response to Interim President Guaido's request". With his tainted history, there is no reason to trust Abrams.
After all, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar asked him, "Yes or no: would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide if you believe they were serving US interests, as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua?" He refused to give an answer. Trump and Abrams's logic seems clear - if they cannot get U.S. forces on the ground in Venezuela, they will send in weapons and still get their war. Abrams is an expert in such matters!
America has done this 57 times before
Venezuela should be warned. The U.S.A has meddled in the Americas before and caused massacres and instability. The U.S.A. has intervened in African countries, causing coups and civil wars. It has done the same in the Middle East. In fact, William Blum, a historian, author, and U.S. foreign policy critic compiled a list of instances America attempted or succeeded to overthrow a foreign government: 57 in total.
Stuck Between Warmongers and a Dictator
While the need of the Venezuelan people to get rid of despotic Nicolas Maduro might briefly converge with the United States' interests, the Venezuelan people should remember that America is not their friend. This is a marriage of convenience and after America destabilizes the country and opens up Western access to Venezuelan resources, the burden to rebuild the country is going to fall squarely on Venezuelan shoulders. America will even ask for reparations for the big favor of dislodging Maduro (and destroying the country in the process).
The West is full of insincere leaders - opportunistic merchants of anarchy who will exploit poor people's desperation, ride on their need for change and then ditch them as soon as Western interests are secured. It may seem like nothing could ever be worse than being led by dictator Maduro but the aftermath of American meddling is almost always just as bad if not worse. Libya knows this story all too well. Unfortunately, Venezuela is stuck between a rock and a hard place but it ultimately will have to pick the better devil.