President Trump's attention towards Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last week has kept the Latin American dictator in the public spotlight. The U.S. President threatened Venezuela with military action last week while he also made threats to North Korea in the same week. The threat of military action followed sanctions placed on Venezuela along with sanctions placed on Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The reasons for the latest sanctions which were placed on Maduro was over his power grab of Parliament which took place at the end of July. Since Maduro has been president for years following President Hugo Chavez's death, he has continued to use his predecessor's socialist movement to gain more leverage against his opposition.

Trump attacks Maduro regime

To add, Venezuela has already been suffering from economic collapse and widespread hunger where people do not have access to a steady food supply or are even able to afford it with skyrocketing prices. According to a report by Reuters titled: "Trump threatens Venezuela with unspecified 'military option," Mark Feierstein who was a senior aide to former President Obama suggested that Maduro loved the attention he was getting from Trump and that the rhetoric against Venezuela's leader was damaging as it creates more conflict in the region.In fact, it's been reported that President Trump's threats had "ruined" the consensus effort from the Democratic Unity Roundtable to oppose Maduro.

According to one report by the Business Insider titled: "An off-the-cuff-remark by Trump may have helped Venezuela's slide 'into dictatorship'" says that the governments surrounding Venezuela were "nearing consensus on confronting the Venezuelan government" and now had to publicly denounce President Trump's statement. In this case, they wanted to focus their criticism on Maduro and how have to contend with Trump's inflammatory statement.

Now they have to work harder to not look as if they are siding with military action with the U.S. while Maduro's opposition are seen as significantly exhausted and weakened after months of sporadic protests.

Empowering Maduro militarily

The reaction from Venezuela's defense minister was that Trump's threat was "craziness." At the same time, Maduro has often stated that the U.S.

has been trying to overthrow him through a coup every time there are protests in the streets. In the early 90's President Chavez had also said that the U.S. had tried to overthrow him in an attempted coup. This only makes the view that the surrounding opposition siding with the U.S. more of a reality and gives more strength to Maduro's propaganda.

The Reuters article points out that according to a statement from a former military general from earlier this year, anti-aircraft missiles had been set up along the coast to defend them against an attack by the U.S. The Reuters article also reports that Venezuela's weapons capability is that they have 5,000 Russian-made surface-to-air weapons.But this is hardly a good indication of what their strengths are.

Nonetheless, this is said to be one of the largest caches of weapons in Latin America.

No military action

The article points out that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, was briefed about the dangers of Venezuela in May by the UN Security Council. At the time she said that they were not seeking action against Maduro and that the only reason they were brought up was because the council wanted to raise awareness of the problems there. Last month it was reported that an officer had stolen a helicopter and fired at government buildings in Caracas and threw grenades which was caught on video.

This followed a video the officer had posted through his Instagram account where he appeared to be surrounded by four other men with guns, sending a message to Maduro's regime.

The videos are said to be suspicious as no one was hurt and many believed that the video message and the assault on the government buildings were staged. Despite the sanctions placed and the threats made against Venezuela, there is no indication that there will be any military action against Maduro. Along with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has also denounced military action against Venezuela.