As of today, the situation in Venezuela looks finely balanced. Madura still seems to have the Support of at least the top brass in the military. Russia and China along with Bolivia and Cuba have continued to Support him diplomatically. But with inflation now at 10million per cent pa, the economic situation is disasterous and seemingly can only get worse as long as Madura keeps in power and sticks to his current policies. The middle classes have always despised Madura but around 2m have already left the country. There are reports that in the poor barrios his Support is finally weakening but so far not decisively. Trump acted decisively in recognising Guiado and so far has said they will not pull all their Embassy staff out. Mike Pence has been talking about leveraging the US s economic clout. Venezuela sells most of its oil to the US and has signicant assets there I suspect they are looking at whether the assets and income can somehow be diverted to the control of the interim government.
I was just listening to this this morning. Not sure what will happen. It definitely seems that Trump and Pence's backing of Guido is a strategic in order to secure oil rather than them not recognising the Venezuelan election as undemocratic. Wasn't Trump talking about an intervention back in 2017?
In this particular case, I think Trump decision is not oil driven. Venezuela sells almost all its oil to the US anyhow. Were Venezuela to rejuvenate its all industry it would be a double edged sword for the US as lower pricws would hit the fracking and shale industry heaviest. It will be interesting to see if he follows through with the bellicose rhetoric as for once he is out of step with his puppet master. The people I know there seem to be torn between a glimmer of hope and resignation for tougher times to come. It's quite astonishing that a guy who has presided over a 50 per cent drop in the country's economy. 1m per cent inflation projected to 10m by the end of the year and an exodus of the most mobile 10per cent of its population can seriously claim to have een fairly reelected. Quite ominously he has said their are no circumstances that he will resign so it's really a question of when some sort of coup happens not whether.
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At the moment his reaction is within the bounds that you might expect of any US President. The question is whether his typically bellicose language gets translated into real action. He may not even have decided himself yet. One thing that may sway him is that he badly needs a foreign policy win, now it is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone that he was played by the North Koreans. Venezuela may provide the easiest potential win. Its in the US backyard, the surrounding nations and much of the Venezuelan population is supportive. He may calculate that his only chance of retaining the Presidency is a successful foreign intervention.
#1 I suspect that the humanitarian disaster is fairly low down on Trump's list of motivations. Politically Florida is crucial to any chances of reelection in 2020 and he needs right leaning Latinos to either Support him or not vote. The Florida GOP politicians have therefore been at the forefront of pushing Trump for action. It is true that US business interests and especially Big Oil would be in favour of regime change in Venezuela, but the left wing media needs to understand that sometimes people can do the right things perhaps for the wrong reasons. The country has been completely and utterly looted by the Chavez/Madura regime. A friend of mine lives in Panama and runs a fund investing all over Latin America, he says guys connected with the Government just fly into Panama with suitcases full of dollars exchanged at the insanely undervalued official rate to buy assets outside of Venezuela. For a long time, the key problem with the Venezuelan opposition was the lack of a leader to rally round. Now they seem to have found one we must hope he is able to survive.