Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden's administration will have to face Maduro's regime

 As I type Biden is about to be sworn in and of course I am planning to watch it if French TV broadcasts it. One of the reasons that motivates me is that in the first hearings for his cabinet positions his nominees without a fault are quite willing to continue some of Trump's policies. Sure, the means and ways will differ here and there but on important questions such as the enmity of China or the Middle East moves, nothing much will change. And best of all Secretary of state nominee Blinken has said in his hearing that the incoming administration will recognize the interim government of Guaido and the remains of the National Assembly elected in 2015, considered the last democratically elected branch of government.

Nobody should be surprised: there is such a thing in serious countries as the interests of the State and those interests are bipartisan. The policy against an invasive and unfair China concerns both Democrats and Republicans. A good application example is the departing recognition by Pompeo of Uyghur veiled genocide in China is prime exemple. China will be upset and will try to retaliate but the incoming Biden people will put the blame on Pompeo while not changing the decision. And Pompeo will be fine with that because it serves the supreme interests of the country. No matter what a crazy supporter of Trump he may have been, enough voices within the GOP have been telling him to do so.  Same thing for the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The democrats did not like it but Biden will leave the embassy in Jerusalem. No need to pick a fight over that, a done deed putting to rest a thorny issue as  keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv did not help in solving the conflict.

Same thing with Venezuela. European Union failed to clearly endorse the continuing Guaido expired mandate while recognizing him as opposition leader. But Europe has no "state" interests in Venezuela the way the US has. Best to start by recognizing the status quo, recognize Guaido and keep at the very least current sanctions. Then, once in office, once all dossiers are examined by the new administration then it will be time to rebuild an anti Maduro coalition and modify what needs to be modified.

These overriding "state interests" is something absolutely lost for chavismo. Long ago they have ditched professional career diplomats. Venezuelan foreign policy has become a mere promotion of the bolivarian fraud and Chavez ego. And in recent years Venezuela's foreign policy, so to speak, is on survival mode, selling state interests to whomever protects best its nomenklatura from international pursuits. The paradox is that the dictatorships that support Maduro, be they Russia or China, do have an acute sense of their own state interests. For them Venezuela is a useful foil against the US objectives.

For the US Venezuela is much more than a nuisance. Drug trafficking goes a lot through Venezuela. The regime protects and sponsors terrorist organizations like the Colombian FARC and ELN.  Its influence on all sorts of anti system groups across Latin America is notorious. The tremendous corruption inside of Venezuela spilling over the continent through massive money laundering schemes. Worst or all is how blithely Venezuela's regime sends millions of migrants across Latin America straining countries with narrow possibilities to deal with such a refugee wave. In short, Venezuela is a destabilizing factor over the whole continental expanse and that is not in the interests of the US of A.

The regime does not understand that. Jorge Rodriguez, a main operator for Maduro and the new head of the overwhelming chavista novel assembly, gave his first interview as chair. In it he offers to the US in exchange for dropping sanctions to free a handful of US citizen prisoners and reopening business for US oil companies. Blackmail/cash-promises for forgetting all of the nefarious actions from Venezuela. The regime presents itself as the victim, with no need for corrective actions. And worse, they think they are about to fool the Biden administration. They do, trust me. 

But times have changed. The US went through the Trump years and too many taboos have been broken. The Biden team is more likely to act through broad coalitions, perhaps with weaker measures but enforced ones. But it will act without the kowtowing of the Obama years. A good starting point is to force other LatAm countries to take real actions against the regime. One of the reason Trump sanctions did not have the desired effect is that too many LatAm countries have been unwilling to take action. Even Bolsonaro has not gone much further than break relations and big words. We need these countries to actively pursue those inside that made deals with the operators of the Venezuelan regime. A little bit of blackmail from the US could help along.

And there is of course the most important and needed confrontation: what to do against Cuba which is the organizer of the regime. Without forgetting the enablers in Russia and China. Trump's people never faced Russia over Venezuela. Will Biden do so? Obama got conned by Cuba. Will Biden stumble over that same stone again?


  1. wanted to say, I for one am thankful to see you active again in this blog. between here and Naky's blog, its been great. I also miss Miguel's blog, does anyone know what happened to him? I know there was an accident, but .....

    1. Miguel is doing OK. But I suppose that like many in exile, it is hard for him to write about Venezuela.

  2. Boludo Tejano3:06 AM

    But it will act without the kowtowing of the Obama years.

    Let us hope so. Were you a US citizen, you have repeatedly indicated you'd vote straight Democrat, but you have not hesitated to criticize certain actions of Democrat Presidents or grudgingly support certain actions of Republican Presidents toward Venezuela.

    Regarding Miguel Octavio and the lack of commentary from the Devil, I suspect that he has a similar attitude that Daniel has- exhaustion. That is also pretty much my attitude, though there is much less reason for my exhaustion than theirs.

    (As I have repeatedly stated, I find it ironic the pro-Democrat attitude of so many Venezuelans in exile, given that a big factor in my change from progressive Democrat to evil Rethuglican was purchasing and reading Carlos Rangel's Del Buen Salvage al Buen Revolucionario when I was working in Venezuela.)

    1. I am not sure I would vote straight democrat but being a gay heathen it is very difficult to find suitable rethuglican candidates, your word. Voting for Bernie would not be possible. What I am afraid would be to be put in front of choosing between a Trump like and a Bernie like candidate......

    2. Boludo Tejano9:30 PM

      Voting for Bernie would not be possible.

      Given his support of Latin American lefty despots, that is quite understandable. For over a half century, Bernie has claimed that those who oppose the likes of Castro brothers or the Ortega brothers are "ignorant." Bernie's knowledge of Latin America is quite superficial. It is not difficult to show that Bernie is the ignorant one when it comes to Latin America. I would love to debate Bernie on Latin America.

  3. I am terrified that how few are paying attention since Biden came into office,

    1. Is that so?

      Have you ever worried about the cruelty of the Maduro regime? Or are your progressive blinders stopping you from being aware of what is going on in Venezuela? Clearly that does not seem to terrify you.

      I resent that people like you come to bomb my comment section with out of purpose comments on the service of a vile agenda. I'll have you know that since 2003 I am reporting on all the abuses that the Chavez Maduro regime have been committing over the years. So new born, new arrival of leftists on the Venezuelan situation seem to me, at this point, the despicable intromission of ignorant and heartless folks.

    2. Boludo Tejano4:51 AM

      I'd bet that RichardKanePA doesn't know the difference between an arepa and an aardvark.


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