Meanwhile in Venezuela
This podcast with UN Dispatch's Mark Leon Goldberg and about the Venezuela crisis is the most illuminating analysis I've come across. This is a very unstable situation. Goldberg tweeted this summary:
Was a mistake for the Trump administration to so quickly recognize Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela? I keep thinking about how @itbriscoe's answered my question.
If the US had some guarantees that the military establishment was about to abandon Maduro, then the move makes sense.
On the other hand, if the US thought it could create facts-on-the-ground by backing Guaido then the Trump administration may have severely miscalculated
So far, it looks like the latter. The military has not abandoned Maduro.
To be sure, this is a fast moving situation. But two days later, the Trump administration's decision seems reckless. Maduro does not seem significantly weaker than he was on Wednesday.
To further complicate things, Pompeo is going to the Security Council tomorrow. He'll presumably double down on US support for Maduro's ouster. Meanwhile, we're likely to see a hardening of pro-Maduro positions by Russia+China, among others. A diplomatic stalemate is coming.
I don't know where this is going. The situation on the ground in Venezuela is obviously unsustainable. People are starving. But having Trump raging around in the china shop is almost always dangerous since he is both corrupt and clueless.
Oh, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pence pledged that the U.S. would back Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.
Surely no one could have a problem with that, right?