***This is not an official press release.***
The goal of this article is just to help unroll what we know, from official statements, about the ongoing situation in Venezuela. I will attempt to wrap the more important portions into one place. In short, Cuba and Russia are acting in bad faith, propping up Maduro, who knows exactly what we expect of him.
The United States is on record multiple times saying that we support Guaido and has even led a coalition of 54-56 countries to join them in that cause. The United States supports Guaido because he was democratically elected the head of the National Assembly. We, the U.S., have given Guaido and the Assembly assurances that there is support up to and including military action. While he was reluctant to say what any of the “triggers” or “redlines” were with regards to the situation, this is not unusual for the Trump Administration. Secretary Pompeo reminded us that the State Department has a team ready to protect the Venezuelan people, but the intelligence community and the military do as well.
Maduro has had support from the Cuban and Russian governments and has Cuban military personnel on the ground in his support and are at the “center of this malfeasance” This is done at Maduro’s request and without the support of the National Assembly, so the U.S. stance is that there already is a foreign invasion in Venezuela. There is said to be “thousands of their [Cuba’s] officers inside of Venezuela today”
Maduro was on the verge of leaving the country today, airplane on the tarmac when he was stopped by the Russians from departing. Secretary Pompeo says he is confident that Russia knows the American position on the matter. I think that by putting it in those terms, “before he was stopped, stopped really at the direction of the Russians.” it really goes to show how much control Maduro has of the situation.
There has been an emphasis on the message that the Trump Administration will “hold accountable those who stand in the way of restoring democracy to Venezuela,” especially those engaged in violence. The Treasury Department indicated that the U.S. and partners/allies are ready to “swiftly restart” the Venezuelan economy. The Vice President said today in a speech “Estamos con ustedes — we are with you.” and “Vayan con Dios — go with God.”
At the end of the day, we can only hope that this is resolved through discussion and that no U.S. military involvement is necessary. There are still diplomatic and financial levers to pull in order to adjust the situation. You can be sure that if it is deemed necessary, we will know of it’s use only after it has been completed successfully. Maduro’s days are numbered and soon the people of Venezuela will have their democracy restored and the assistance they so desperately need from the international community.