Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is accusing Donald Trump of waging war against the citizens of his country in the form of U.S. sanctions. Maduro says he's been forced to raise his country's minimum wage to make up for the damage he's blaming on Trump, whom he likens to Adolf Hitler.
The Washington Times says that Maduro is venting his frustrations over the Trump sanctions publicly.
"Just like Hitler persecuted the Jewish people, Donald Trump persecutes the people of Venezuela."
But critics are blaming Venezuela's current state on political corruption and mismanagement, combined with two decades of socialist rule.
"Despite having the world's largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela is in the fifth year of an economic crisis worse than the Great Depression."
The Times of Israel says that Maduro is putting the blame on Trump, the United States government, and his other opponents for forcing him into a position where he has to raise the minimum wage by 150 percent in a misguided effort to fight inflation.
"The wage increase brings the monthly pay most Venezuelan workers bring home to 4,500 bolivars. That's about $11 on the commonly used black market exchange. Maduro announced the raise, calling it a correction to his economic recovery plan launched 100 days ago. He recently unveiled new currency in August that lopped off five zeros from previous bank notes."The Trump administration has been watching Maduro, and the Venezuelan government, concerned that it is a developing dictatorship.
But in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in Washington, says that Trump could best use his time at the G20 Summit to work with Russia and China on dealing with the Venezuelan crisis.
"Hugo Chavez's utopian vision for Venezuela has proved to be a chimera, leaving little but a corrupt, worsening dystopia. Still, the regime has its enablers, in particular, those who support it financially and those who continue to provide diplomatic air cover preventing meaningful international steps to address the crisis. Among them: China and Russia"
Next month, Maduro's current mandate ends, and that will be the last tether that Venezuela has to government legitimacy. Therefore at the G20 Summit, Donald Trump has the opportunity to seek an agreement with Russia and China to work together to create a transition government that would lead to fair elections that would be recognized by the international community.
Farnsworth adds that instead of sanctions against Venezuela, Trump would be better served by aiding the people of the country to restructure their government.