Is Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaido reading the Washington Examiner?

After all, on Monday, Guaido called on the international community to help stop presidential occupier Nicolas Maduro from supplying Cuba with oil. That's exactly what I called for on Feb. 27. Addressing the national assembly as his country continues to suffer under an ongoing power blackout, Guaido was passionate in his call for action.

Guaido was clear that he wants international support to enforce the ban. But why is this action so important?

Well, because, via the highly capable intelligence and military forces it has deployed to Venezuela, Cuba is the critical enabler of Maduro's repression. But if Cuba is cut off from Venezuelan oil, its economy will grind to a halt. Guaido and the U.S., which he has presumably consulted here, know as much. They will hope that any embargo will force Cuba to cut a deal with Guaido in which it ends support for Maduro in return for preserved oil supplies under a future administration.

President Trump should respond favorably to this request by a head of government. Under Southern Command, the U.S. Navy can detect and interdict any oil tankers which attempt to transit through the Caribbean Sea. But the U.S. should also request naval support from the British, Colombian, Brazilian, and French governments. Each of those governments has recognized Guaido and each operates naval forces in proximity to the Caribbean Sea.

The risk of conflict is small. Venezuelan naval and air forces loyal to Maduro could not contest an embargo without suffering annihilation. And their commanders would be reluctant to follow any order to that effect for fear of prosecution after Maduro's fall. Nor could China and Russia effectively challenge the U.S. Navy so far from their home bases.

Guaido's request has taken on new urgency in light of the ongoing power shortage. Trump should launch this humanitarian operation to free Venezuelans from their starving dystopia.