Venezuela and China at the Center of Trump’s Campaign Strategy

By Jesus Inojosa – Caracas, July 15, 2020

The strongman of the United States, Donald Trump, has had a stumbling year in 2020, which has cast doubt on a reelection that at the beginning of the years seemed secure.

The arrival of the coronavirus and its implications for the economy, together with the social explosion ignited by the assassination of George Floyd, as well as the failure of his strategy for relations with Europe and Asia, and the recent reports of some of his disgruntled collaborators, are some of the causes of the magnate’s candidacy debacle.

Within this scenario, Trump’s strategy has been to focus his actions on attacking the “enemies” of the United States, whom he blames for all the failures of his administration.

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This is how the “Chinese virus” slogan was born to refer to Covid-19; the blaming of Antifa for the anti-racism uprising, and the speech of an “imminent change” of the Venezuelan government, discursive actions that Trump uses to seek the votes he hopes will lead him to re-election.

“Blame China”

After learning of the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, known as the coronavirus or Covid-19, the US magnate opted for a discourse underestimating the danger of this pandemic.

“When April arrives, the virus will miraculously disappear with the warming climate,” Trump was quoted as saying on February 19; he also made no secret of the decision to privilege the economy and avoid the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. It has an average of between 27 thousand and 70 thousand per year. Nothing closes, life and the economy continue. So far there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about it!” he said in those early days of the pandemic.

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With the arrival of the Covid-19, the North American nation was plunged into a spiral of exponential growth that today locates itself there, with more than three and a half million confirmed cases and no less than 138 thousand deaths.

Given this scenario, the magnate’s speech underwent a transformation that went from underestimating the danger of the virus to fingering the Chinese government for the consequences suffered in the US from this pandemic.

“China will do everything it can to make me lose this race,” he said in an interview on April 30, kicking off an accusation race in which his officials targeted Beijing as responsible for the spread of the virus in the US.

“What the Communist Party of China did is not prevent the coronavirus from spreading around the world. They are responsible and the United States must bring them to justice,” were the words of the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, words that have been accompanied by “sanctions” against Chinese officials.

Attacks on Venezuela

Along this same line, Trump has lined up his battery of attacks against Venezuela, in an effort to regain the vote of Florida’s Latinos, who according to polls will choose Biden.

His most recent move was during the visit to Florida where he went to a well-known Hispanic news outlet and said that “something will happen to Venezuela” while affirming that his government will be “very involved”.

This threat from the magnate was accompanied by a media agenda deployed by Elliott Abrams, who in his capacity as “special envoy for Venezuela,” has announced a “communication offensive” and assured that, to intensify the blockade, the US is “pressing “shipping companies, insurers, certifiers and States that report ships dealing with Venezuela.

“What you will see is that most of the shipowners, insurances and captains will simply move away from Venezuela. For them it is not worth the trouble or risk,” Abrams said.

In addition to threats used to ingratiate themselves with the Venezuelan and Cuban extreme right living in Florida, other actions taken by the President in his re-election campaign have been attacks on the Venezuelan opposition itself and on Juan Guaidó, against whom he made public in recent months the growing rejection Guaido generates in these sectors, as a consequence of endless failures and corruption scandals.

In this regard, he said that Guaidó “seems to be losing power” and added that in his administration he is betting on someone “who has the support of the people”, thereby distancing himself from the self-proclaimed.

Likewise, as with China, where he has associated Joe Biden too, as an ally of the Asians, Trump has pointed out that a victory for the Democrat “would turn the United States into Venezuela,” a move he had already used in 2016 against Hillary Clinton (but that seems very unbelievable due to Biden own statements against President Maduro).

This strategy of evading blame and winning back the support of extremists through hegemonic and anti-communist discourse, focused on China and Venezuela, arises after the publication of recent polls by Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas, which give the advantage to Joe Biden in Arizona, Florida and Texas, regions that until yesterday were Republican bastions and that today are essential for a Trump who dreams of reelection.

(Ultimas Noticias)