In surveying a possible answers to the question “Why does Venezuela matter of the United States?”, it is difficult to come up with an answer that does not begin with the word “oil”. Because Maduro has mostly completed the ruination of Venezuela’s economy – especially the oil sector — so ably begun by Hugo Chavez, U.S. oil companies probably are pushing the Trump administration to intervene and create a U.S.-picked Venezuelan president and regime to repay what U.S. oil corporations are owed, and so that the companies themselves can pick up the remnants of the Venezuelan oil industry ‘s facilities for pennies on the dollar.
When the oil industry is calling the tune, all U.S. presidents and vice-presidents must dance its dance. But they cover their lapdog-obedience with rhetoric about the “illegitimacy of the Maduro regime”, the “need for new elections”, the “vast sufferings of the Venezuelan people”, and, of course, the “need to reinstall freedom and democracy” in that country. Whenever the leaders of the national government are trying to persuade Americans that the republic needs another unnecessary war, they wheel out the language of values and abstract theories, neither of which have any legitimate role to play in the formulation of an effective America First foreign policy.