Venezuela’s President Compares Donald Trump to Hitler
Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, aired his frustrations over the U.S. sanctions imposed on the Venezuelan government in a tirade in which he compared President Trump to Adolf Hitler.
According to AP News, Maduro exclaimed, “just like Hitler persecuted the Jewish people, Donald Trump persecutes the people of Venezuela”.
In an attempt to offset the effects of U.S. economic sanctions, Maduro also announced he would raise the minimum wage in Venezuela by 150 per cent.
Venezuela is in the grip of a financial crisis which has seen inflation rates soar to more than 200,000 percent, according to Reuters. The International Monetary Fund predicts it could reach 1 million percent by the end of 2018.
Rocketing inflation has prompted crippling food and medicine shortages across the country. Even with the 150 percent wage increase, the average Venezuelan will take home the equivalent of around $11 a month, according to AP News.
Maduro blames the U.S. for the country’s deepening economic crisis. He suggests that U.S. sanctions prohibiting Venezuela from accessing international financial markets have prevented his government from debt refinancing that could ease the crisis.
President Trump and his administration blame corruption and economic mismanagement for the country’s economic demise. Reuters reported that earlier this year Trump told the UN General Assembly, “socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty”.
The Trump administration has also voiced concerns over Maduro’s attacks on Venezuelan democracy. Mike Pence denounced Maduro’s re-election in May as “the illegitimate result of this fake process”, the New York Times reported.
It was following the May general election in Venezuela, that many in the U.S. and Europe deemed a sham election, that the Trump administration implemented new sanctions of Maduro’s government.
The day after Maduro’s re-election, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration issued sanctions blocking the Venezuelan government from selling government debt.
The Trump administration believed the sanctions would prevent Venezuela’s leadership from selling off national debt to line their own pockets, a practice Maduro and his administration have been accused of before.