(RightWing.org) – President Trump proposed a deal on Tuesday that would lift US sanctions against Venezuela – if the country ditches its brutal socialist dictator and appoints an interim government. Most of Venezuela’s government would be happy to agree, and the people certainly would. Hardline leftist president, Nicolas Maduro, might not be so keen, though.
The US has been locked in a diplomatic standoff with Venezuela almost since President Trump took office. Now the administration has a new plan to resolve it.
- Relations between socialist Venezuelan leader Maduro and the Trump administration have never been warm, but they hit rock bottom last January. With Maduro wanted on drug trafficking charges in the US, and his legitimacy disputed by his own country’s National Assembly, President Trump has had enough.
- Maduro called premature elections in May 2018, but they were widely condemned as rigged. The US, Canada and several other countries refused to recognize the legitimacy of his reelection.
- On January 23, 2019, the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared himself interim president and was approved by the Assembly. The US and most of its allies now recognize Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader, but Maduro refuses to step down and still controls most of the state courts and the police departments.
- Now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced what he says is a plan for a “peaceful, democratic transition.”
- The US proposal would see both Maduro and Guaidó step down, and the National Assembly recalled to appoint a transitional government. That would then organize presidential elections, as well as create an independent supreme court to replace Maduro’s politically appointed judges.
- As a sweetener, Pompeo offered the removal of US sanctions against Venezuela if the proposal is accepted. However, he said they would remain in place until the Maduro regime accepts the fact it has lost its legitimacy and lets go of power.
- Right now the chances of that don’t look high. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza rejected Pompeo’s offer, saying Maduro won’t betray the “vote of confidence” the people gave him in the 2018 election – which only backed him after widespread voter intimidation.
- However, it’s possible Maduro will recognize that this is the only real way out for him. His regime is bankrupt and falling apart, and lacks any real support. Pompeo has even offered to discuss the drug charges against the dictator, giving him a semi-honorable exit – and his people an escape from a corrupt and failed socialist regime.
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