The original Venezuela TATA can be found here.
Well, it’s been three months! How are things looking in Venezuela?
Unfortunately, they don’t look that different. President Nicolás Maduro is still in power. Opposition leader Juan Guiadó is still trying to stir up a rebellion against him. And the people of Venezuela are still suffering.
But some things have to have happened, right?
A few things.
Remember those U.S. oil sanctions? They weren’t super helpful. The idea was sanctioning Venezuelan oil would weaken the economy, and Maduro’s hold on the country. The United States has essentially stopped importing oil from Venezuela, but countries like Russia and China are still buying oil. Tensions are already high between the United States, China and Russia – this won’t help to lessen them.
The humanitarian crisis is still bad, and to make matters worse, there have been blackouts. Refugees are fleeing the country, and many are going to Colombia. The first wave of aid from the Red Cross arrived in early April and included resources like water and medical kits. But many Venezuelan citizens remain in dire conditions.
Last week, Guiadó made an open call to the country’s military to turn their backs on Maduro and join him. He made his announcement in Caracas, the country’s capital, joined by soldiers and newly freed government opposer Leopoldo Lopez.
His speech sparked more violent confrontations between protesters and soldiers that were still loyal to Maduro. And, by the end of the day, there had been very little shift in the loyalties of the military at all.
Swing and a miss. What’s his play now?
The United States may step in. Vice President Pence may offer incentives for soldiers to throw their support behind Guiadó while also sanctioning members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court. President Trump does not seem to want to provide military aid while Guiadó may be open to asking for it. What the U.S. will actually do? Hard to say.