(CNSNews.com) – Ahead of what looks to be a looming showdown on the Venezuela-Colombia border this weekend, President Trump in a rousing speech on Monday declared socialism in the western hemisphere to be in its “twilight hour,” predicting freedom not just for Venezuela, but for the people of Cuba and Nicaragua as well.
“You have prayed for the day we can now see, which is just ahead, the day when all of the people of this region will at last be free,” Trump told an audience at Florida International University in Miami.
“The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere and frankly in many, many places around the world,” he said. “The days of socialism and communism are numbered not only in Venezuela but in Nicaragua and in Cuba as well.”
Trump used the speech to urge military officers in Venezuela to back interim president Juan Guaido, and to allow humanitarian aid now pre-positioned in Colombia to enter the country and “help millions and millions in need.”
“Unfortunately dictator [Nicolás] Maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country,” he said. “He would rather see his people starve than give them aid.”
Trump launched a stinging attack on the ideology of Maduro and predecessor Hugo Chavez, Critics say their policies, coupled with severe corruption, have impoverished a once-prosperous country.
“All of us here today knows that there is nothing less democratic than socialism, everywhere and anywhere it appears,” he said. “Socialism advances under the banner of progress, but in the end it delivers only corruption, exploitation and decay.”
Socialism, he said, was not about justice, equality, or elevating the poor. “Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class – and the more power they get, the more they crave.”
Trump looked beyond Venezuela, to Cuba – one of a dwindling handful of communist party-ruled holdouts – and Nicaragua, where hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured during protests last year against President Daniel Ortega’s leftist government.
“As the United States stands up for democracy in Venezuela, we reaffirm the solidarity with the longsuffering people of Cuba, and Nicaragua, and people everywhere living under socialist and communist regimes,” he said.
“And 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. We are born free and we will stay free, now and forever.”
Trump pointed to the expatriate Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan communities in and around Miami.
“We know what freedom can do in Venezuela because we have seen that future right here in Doral. We know what freedom can do in Cuba because we have seen that future right here in Miami,” he said. “We know what freedom can do in Nicaragua because we have seen that future in Sweetwater.”
“And one day soon, with God’s help, we are going to see what the people will do in Caracas and Managua and Havana.”
“And when Venezuela is free and Cuba is free and Nicaragua is free,” Trump declared, “this will become the first free hemisphere in all of human history.”
‘Defend the revolution, socialism’
Saturday, February 23, marks one month since Guaido, the National Assembly head, proclaimed himself interim president under Venezuela’s constitution.
He has called for a million volunteers to gather, and be bussed to border crossing points to receive and help to distribute waiting humanitarian aid to people in need.
The regime and supporters are not sitting idle, however.
“On February 23, Chavismo goes to the streets, to defend the homeland, to defend the revolution, socialism,” said Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The “Chavismo” movement is named for the ideology and programs of the late Chavez.
Cabello said loyalists would be deployed in all 355 municipalities across the country.
The regime’s communication and tourism minister, Jorge Rodríguez, said Friday and Saturday would see the government deliver 20,000 boxes of aid to the people of Cucuta, the town on the Venezuela-Colombia border where the stockpiled U.S. aid is waiting.
Rodríguez said the government will also provide free medical attention to children and adults in need on Saturday.
On the same day, a solidarity-with-the-regime concert is reportedly being organized at the Simón Bolívar international bridge – the same bridge which Venezuelan armed forces have blocked to prevent entry of the U.S. aid.
Activist groups say they are organizing protests around the world on Saturday.
“[O]n that date, the world will see a contrast: between a border publicity stunt organized by an unelected puppet – and a river of humanity marching across the globe to defend Venezuela,” one such group, calling itself No War on Venezuela, said in a statement.