Axios is calling it President Trump's Venezuela naval blockade "obsession" based on accounts of unnamed administration officials: "President Trump has suggested to national security officials that the U.S. should station Navy ships along the Venezuelan coastline to prevent goods from coming in and out of the country, according to 5 current and former officials who have either directly heard the president discuss the idea or have been briefed on Trump's private comments," according to a new report.
He's said to have repeatedly raised the idea in private as a way to finally deliver regime change in Caracas, after prior attempts - including a short-lived push for military coup - failed earlier this year. Supposedly, the plan would be to station US Navy ships along the coast such that all vessels would be blocked from entering or exiting the South American country.
While Trump has acknowledged to the press in recent weeks that it's "an option" that's being discussed, his private comments have been more pointed and extensive. Axios quotes one source as follows: "He literally just said we should get the ships out there and do a naval embargo," the source described upon hearing the president's comments. "Prevent anything going in," the official said.
"I'm assuming he's thinking of the Cuban missile crisis," the source said further. Push back against the president's floating such a blockade have not been centered around the potential humanitarian disaster by further cutting off the already cash-deprived country as food and energy are already at crisis shortages.
Instead, the concern voiced focused on the feasibility from a US perspective of taking on such as massive enterprise as blockading a coastline that stretches more than 1700 miles.
Per Axios, an administration source argued it's unrealistic:
"But Cuba is an island and Venezuela is a massive coastline. And Cuba we knew what we were trying to prevent from getting in. But here what are we talking about? It would need massive, massive amounts of resources; probably more than the U.S. Navy can provide."
While there's no official blockade in place yet, the US has recently made efforts to block individual vessels from getting to Venezuela in the context of new oil sanctions by the US Treasury.
That's a lot of coastline:
Early this summer, Trump appeared to have cooled on pursuing regime change against Nicholas Maduro; however, his alleged "obsession" means the standoff could become a front and center national security priority once again.