Samantha Bee examined President Donald Trump’s growing — and worrying — interest in Venezuela, and warned that his administration’s actions and personnel decisions hint at not just the Iraq War, but America’s catastrophic actions in Latin America during the Cold War.
On Full Frontal Wednesday, Bee noted how the Trump administration has officially recognized the government of self-declared Venezuelan president, Juan Guaido. Guaido, however, remains caught in a power struggle with Nicolas Maduro, who’s been accused of stealing an election and crimes against humanity, and overseeing an economic crisis that’s led to mass food shortages. Amidst this unrest, Bee pointed out that Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, was recently spotted with a notepad that read, “5,000 troops to Colombia.”
“Bolton… is openly licking his chops at the thought of getting our hands on Venezuela’s oil,” Bee said. She then added, “Let’s see, obsessing about the oil capabilities of a country run by a cruel dictator with a mustache, why does this feel familiar to me? Oh that’s right, it reminds me of Iraq. Please don’t do another Iraq! The only thing we should consider rebooting from 2003 is Agent Cody Banks.”
Even more disconcerting than Bolton, however, is the appointment of notorious diplomat Elliott Abrams as the Special Envoy to Venezuela. Bee delivered a detailed breakdown of Abrams’ career, which included a stint in the Reagan administration where he backed brutal dictators in Panama and Guatemala, played a key role in the Iran-Contra affair, and effectively aided and covered up genocide all while his official title was “Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.”
Despite his record of sewing chaos, Abrams later served under President George W. Bush and his addition to the Trump administration has been portrayed as relatively moderate and conventional. “We will never make up for the things our country did in Latin America during the Cold War,” Bee said. “But the least we can do is not send the same gang of rapacious neocons back there again. Just send Elliott Abrams somewhere else – I hear the Hague is nice this time of year.”