Rising: May 21, 2019
Latin America expert: Trump 'is doing the right thing' in Venezuela
President Trump is making the right move by supporting Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's self-declared interim president, Latin America expert Lindsay Singleton said Tuesday on Hill.TV.
"He is doing the right thing - the administration is doing the right thing by recognizing the Guaidó interim government and trying to help the Venezuelan people," Singleton told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.
Trump ramped up pressure on Venezuela's embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, during a speech in Miami, where he voiced support for Guaidó's attempt to remove Maduro from power. Trump also warned about the perils of socialism and called for Maduro to end the humanitarian aid blockade.
"We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open," Trump said in his speech to members of the Venezuelan community in the U.S.
Singleton, who previously served as a U.S. foreign service officer and spent three years in Venezuela, said Trump's warnings are a negotiating tactic and that the U.S. has "no appetite" for military action in the country.
"Just being in the room during discussions about this in the past at the NSC [National Security Council] and being in Venezuela for three years, there's no appetite for this," said Singleton, who served in Venezuela from 2010-2013.
She is now a communications strategist and senior vice president at ROKK Solutions.
Singleton added that Trump's overtures to the Venezuelan community is a political tactic since the group represents a key voting bloc for both Democrats and Republicans.
"There's also a political calculation that's being made here not only by the White House and administration but also by Democrats, because Venezuelan citizens are an increasingly important contingent among Florida voters. So either party is going to want to try to own for the 2020 elections," Singleton told Hill.TV.
Florida boasts one of the largest Venezuelan populations in the country. More than 166,000 residents in Florida identify as Venezuelan, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.