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The outlook for US-LAC relations

The troika: Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua

Under Donald Trump, Washington has identified three Latin American countries which are considered to be fundamentally hostile to US interests: Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The administration’s objections to the three governments have been based on a) their anti-democratic nature and poor record on human rights and b) on their alignment with global rivals to US hegemony such as China and Russia. The impression given is that a) has weighed more heavily than b). As mentioned, an additional factor has been the desire to appeal to conservative Hispanic voters, mainly of Cuban and Venezuelan origin. In November 2018 the-then National Security Adviser, John Bolton, referred to the three as the “troika of tyranny” (after leaving the administration Bolton nevertheless was highly critical of what he described as Trump’s limited understanding of international affairs).

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