“On Tuesday, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo unveiled a detailed framework for restoring democracy in Venezuela that was immediately rejected by the man who would need to step aside for such a transition to occur: Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise, given that just last week the U.S. Department of Justice charged Maduro with narco-terrorism and put a $15-million price on his head.
“Many Venezuelans reacted with understandable satisfaction to the indictment of Maduro and some of his closest collaborators. President Trump further rattled sabers by announcing a buildup of his administration’s counternarcotics operation off Venezuela’s coast, though the U.S. is unlikely to drag Maduro into court anytime soon. This will come as a disappointment to the Venezuelan diaspora in the United States, concentrated not coincidentally in the electoral battleground state of Florida. But for those victimized by Maduro’s well-documented repression, corruption and sheer incompetence, the salient fact remains that someone is taking steps to hold the deeply unpopular Maduro regime accountable…”