Venezuela Update

The Venezuelan military has again rejected the Trump administration’s offer to join the forces of Juan Guaidó. The military is an important part of the government in Venezuela and its show of support for Nicolás Maduro is a bad sign for Trump’s regime change plans. Some readers may think the following video is too unapologetic in its support for Maduro, but there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in this conflict. There are a few exceptions however, including Bernie Sanders .

As I said, this video is extremely pro-Maduro, but even Sanders’ more moderate analysis was met with screams of anguish from Democrats who support regime change in Venezuela. Here’s Bernie’s Univision interview with Jorge Ramos. The questions concerning Venezuela are toward the end.

The most vocal criticism of Sanders’ stance on Venezuela has come from members of Congress who represent Venezuelan communities in the United States. However, it’s important to be aware of the makeup of these communities, as a 2018 editorial in the Houston Chronicle makes clear.

This editorial is not sympathetic to Maduro, but it expresses concern about the effects of sanctions on the Venezuelan people. One problem is that sanctions hurt the country’s main source of revenue, which directly affects the people. Another problem is that the Trump administration’s sanctions ignore Venezuelan oligarchs who are living in the United States, largely in Houston and Miami. The majority of Venezuelans living in the United States have nothing to do with the oligarchs, but law enforcement officials believe that some of them have made fortunes by scamming the government and its oil company, PDVSA. The Justice Department only started prosecuting them in 2015.

Sanders calls for a fair election in Venezuela rather than sanctions and military action. In his view, the choice of president should be left to the Venezuelan people.