President Trump called Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a “Cuban puppet” in a speech Monday, criticizing the leader for blocking humanitarian aid into the country while the government faces a presidential crisis. “Two days ago the first US Air Force C-17 landed in Colombia loaded with crucial assistance, including thousands of nutrition kits for little Venezuelan children,” Trump said in a Miami speech, according to CNN. “Unfortunately, dictator Maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country... Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot, he is a Cuban puppet.” Trump also addressed the country's military leaders, telling them they were “risking their future” by staying loyal to Maduro and they “must not follow Maduro's orders.” The president also criticized socialism, adding that it was reaching its “twilight hour.” “To those who would try to impose socialism on the United States, we again deliver a very simple message: America will never be a socialist country,” he said.
According to CNN, National security adviser John Bolton told reporters last week that Venezuelan military officials were “negotiating with the opposition” and said there would be “no effort to use military force” to deliver the humanitarian aid. The country's military blocked off a key bridge before the aid had arrived, with Maduro believing that foreign aid was equivalent to “a foreign intervention.”