From 2017, the Trump Administration has been angling for regime change
in Venezuela. Back during his tenure as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo was talking about trying to orchestrate such a “transition” of power.
This week, President Maduro’s power began to face a serious challenge. Following calls from Pompeo’s State Department, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. The hawkish parts of the Trump Administration are only too eager to embrace this, and are looking to aggressively back the change.
Backing Guaido means open efforts to undermine Maduro, and that seems to be the near-term direction for the administration. John Bolton says that the main focus right now is on figuring out a way to ensure that all money from Venezuelan oil exports goes directly to Guaido. Bolton said this was only consistent with US recognition of him as the legitimate government of Venezuela.
Saying that’s what the US wants to happen and doing it are two different things, however, and Bolton conceded that officials are still studying how this would be done. The US is setting itself up as so overtly hostile, however, that Maduro is ordering US diplomats out of the country.
The US is also pushing for a meeting of the UN Security Council, as soon as Saturday, to discuss the situation in Venezuela. Pompeo intends to attend the meeting, and the expectation is that the US will be calling for a recognition of Guaido’s takeover.
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