#1 Discussion response NR
The relationship between the United States and Venezuela has been very rocky for many years now. But it has likely never been as rocky as it has been the last year with the new political conflicts. One of the key factors is souring relations between the two countries has to do with the stance that the Hugo Chavez administration and the future Nicolas Maduro administration would hold against the United States. This stance was built on an anti-imperialist movement and the main target was the United States. In particular due to the United States history with Latin America.
            The most recent cause of worsening relations with Venezuela has to do with the United States support opposition leader Juan Guaido. This obviously causes a divide between the US and the current ruling administration in the South American country (Macia and Imbert, 2019). Another major blow to the historical ties between the two nations comes with the accusations of the United States attempting or supporting coups against the Venezuelan government. In particular once in 2004 and recently in 2020(Al Jazeera, 2019). These incidents do allow the administration to vilify the United States and consolidate power closer to the center. The current stance that the United States has is sanctions against the nation and it will be interesting to see how diplomacy plays out in the next few years with the new Presidency.
#2 Discussion response AY
A key point in the souring of the relationship between the US and Venezuela is the discovery of the CIA is knowledge of a potential coup that occurred in 2002. While it might not have been extremely significant and detrimental to the relationship then, it started distrust between the U.S. and President Chavez. The accusations also brought more attention to President Chavez and the U.S. condemned the way Chavez was running the country. The media was targeted and constricted from saying anything that may be offensive to officials. Chavez was imprisoning political opponents and consolidating power by overtaking the supreme court which proved to be red flags for the U.S.
A second event following the initial accusation and distrust from Venezuela that really pushed the issue after a number of other incidents was the speedy support of interim president Juan Guaido by President Trump and his administration. This support coming from the U.S. looks very suspicious in the eyes of Chavez’s successor Maduro. The breaking off of all diplomatic relations with the U.S. was Maduro’s response, however the State Department did not recognize this decision and therefore did not move out U.S. officials. More threats and sanctions were imposed by both the U.S. and Venezuela in different ways, but the relationship is very clearly over as of January 2021. Had President Trump and his administration not been so quick to support Maduro’s opposition, diplomatic relations may still intact.

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