MIAMI – The US government made clear on Thursday that it is ready to exert all the pressure necessary to ensure that the Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan governments “fall” and urged other countries to join the effort to free those peoples from “oppression.”
“The troika of tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a speech at Miami Dade College.
“The troika of tyranny in this hemisphere will not endure forever,” Bolton said, referring to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. “Like all oppressive regimes and ideologies, it too will meet its demise.”
“The United States looks forward to watching each corner of the triangle fall. ... The troika will crumble,” he said.
“Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region,” he added.
Bolton said the Trump administration will adopt a hard line against Havana, Caracas and Managua by imposing sanctions and cutting diplomatic ties with them until they meet US demands.
“This is not a time to back away. It’s a time to increase the pressure, not reduce it,” Bolton told the audience after the speech.
Regarding Cuba, Bolton said that the US will cut off any secret backchannels between the two countries and plans to impose financial penalties on Havana until it frees political prisoners, guarantees freedom of speech and fair elections and allows all political parties to compete for office.
He said that Trump is determined to fulfill the promises he made to the Cuban-American community in 2017 to reverse the “mistaken” policy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who launched a rapprochement with Havana.
In an interview with EFE minutes before delivering his speech, Bolton said that in the coming two months, the administration will “carefully review” the law allowing suits to be brought in the US over expropriations in Cuba of US-owned property.
Regarding Venezuela, Bolton said that Trump on Thursday signed an executive order putting new sanctions on Caracas to “target networks operating within corrupt Venezuelan economic sectors and deny them access to stolen wealth.”
He also said that the Trump administration is “very concerned” about the exodus of Venezuelans from their country, calling is a humanitarian disaster with consequences for other countries in the region.
On Nicaragua, Bolton said, until free, fair and early elections are held, “the Nicaraguan regime, like Venezuela and Cuba, will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.”
He said that the measures taken by the US to date had made the “troika” regimes more vulnerable than ever and emphasized that the peoples of the three countries are “impatient” to get democratically elected governments.
Bolton also urged other governments in the Americas and in Europe to join the US efforts to prevent the “troika” from continuing to take advantage of their peoples.