Last week, the Trump administration issued its decision to allow American companies to maintain their presence in Venezuela. This is good news not only for our own economic stability, but for that of the region. Without U.S. presence in Venezuela, we risk allowing the world’s largest oil reserves to fall into Russian, China, or Cuban control. The administration’s decision helps avoid that fate.
Russia, China and Cuba have long sought to extend their spiderwebs of corruption, communism and despotism to Venezuela. With its own dictator in a tenuous position, Venezuela is teetering between total collapse and a democratic rebuilding. America must do what it can to push our former partner toward the latter, and one of the most important ways we can do this is denying political parasites from taking root there.
Beyond blocking nefarious actors from gaining a foothold in the region, the decision to maintain our presence in Venezuela is a testament to our responsibility to deliver on American ideals beyond our borders. Simply put, the president’s America First policy extends abroad.
In Venezuela, the decision to allow U.S. companies to stay in country is crucial – it allows America to stay in position to help the people of Venezuela recover once the brutal dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro finally collapses. Due to the state of the global economy, our multinational businesses need backing from the government to ensure their success. Now is not the time to revoke a policy which supports American workers, investors, and businesses.
Allowing U.S. business to stay in Venezuela not only supports the American economy, but it also promotes American values such as democracy and capitalism. In a country ruled by an oppressive communist government, American companies serve as a model for what is possible with proper governance. Stripping companies of their assets and retreating from Venezuela will only serve to help Maduro’s government stay in power as any source of American ideals vanishes.
Not only will the retreat of U.S. business benefit Maduro’s regime, but it also creates a vacuum for competing nations such as Russia to step in. American business means a U.S. presence in Venezuela. If our companies leave, adversarial nations will move in and further their interests as they look to expand their global clout. With Maduro’s regime already embracing socialist policies, support from Russia can lead to another communist country, like Cuba, in South America.
Maduro’s dictatorial regime is hanging on by a thread since global oil prices have dropped. As a result, the Venezuelan government is forced to rely on illegal sources of income to try to hang on. When Maduro’s regime falls, and it eventually will, U.S. companies will be seen as the model for a capitalist based economy. It is imperative American companies remain in Venezuela to promote capitalism and democracy.
Now more than ever, the U.S. government needs to support American businesses abroad with its America First policy. This benefits American workers, stops foreign countries from expanding their malign influence, and promotes the ideals of democracy and free markets to those who need it most. In the global crisis environment we all find ourselves in, the world has never needed America more. Let’s make sure we deliver.
Sean Spicer has served as White House press secretary and chief strategist of the Republican National Committee.