MIAMI, Florida – The president of the United States left the Venezuelans hanging. They desperately want to believe that Trump will help them fight against Nicolas Maduro, yet the facts show the opposite. They are more alone than ever.
Donald Trump aligned himself with Putin, the real leader of Venezuela’s march through the totalitarian and statist darkness.
Last year, the U.S. President broke with a tradition that came from World War II when the powers delimited their ‘areas of influence.’ Trump turned his back on Venezuelans who want a free country with a sensible economy and left them in the Russians’ hands in their Putin version.
National security advisors and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo themselves warned their boss, the U.S. President, in detail that Russia had its hands and feet in Venezuela.
Something changed the mind of Trump, a president who owes $421 million to “who knows who” and has denied that it is Russia or someone close to Russia.
What is proven, by U.S. intelligence agencies and by a special Senate committee, with a Republican majority, is that the Kremlin up to their necks involved in Trump’s campaign in 2016 so that he would win the elections.
So, Donald Trump owes it to Vladimir Putin. Words from the U.S. president on May 3, 2019, after a one-hour telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart: “We talked about many issues. I had a very good conversation with President Putin. Venezuela was one of the topics, and he is not looking to get involved in Venezuela, other than he would like to see something positive happen for Venezuela. And I feel the same way. We want to bring humanitarian aid”.
Putin “is not looking to get involved in Venezuela”? He is already involved.
The Russians and the Cubans have managed to get a functional illiterate like Maduro to maintain political control over the Army and the population. Putin “would like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.” Of course, it has already happened: they gave him the management of oil in that country with the world’s largest reserves.
A day before that call from Trump to Putin -or from Putin to Trump(?)- the State Department head informed: “There has been an invasion in Venezuela. The Cubans invaded some time ago, and the Russians have followed suit. The number of Cubans in the security apparatus is in the thousands. The Russians have hundreds of people working there, if not more. These are the people who control the course of Venezuela. The Russians are there protecting their economic interests”.
Elliott Abrams, appointed by Trump to handle the Venezuelan issue, went from “hawk” in the Reagan era to an ornament in this administration. He was left talking to himself. Yet, what he has said was powerful (October 2019, to the Financial Times): “The role of (Russian oil company) Rosneft in Venezuela is fundamental to the survival of the regime of Maduro.”
Rosneft Oil Company has the command of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), is its leading business partner, and is carrying out its financial reconfiguration.
Russia took control of Venezuela’s economy (based solely on oil) and, along with the Cubans, of the State’s political intelligence apparatus.
If the Venezuelans could decide, they would have long since sent Nicolás Maduro home and restored democracy, with an open economy.
They cannot because the Cubans and their bosses, the Russians, are there. “Moscow is using Venezuela to achieve some foreign policy objectives against the United States, at a low price,” said Abrams, a Trump official, appointed exceptionally to address the Venezuelan case.
Trump turned the tables, persuaded – or bent – by Putin. In June, Trump said he was willing to meet with Maduro, and left Juan Guaidó, after recognizing him as interim president of Venezuela.
John Bolton, a former national security advisor, put it in his book: Trump’s support for Venezuela was “hesitant,” and he said that his former boss distanced himself from Guaidó under childish pretexts, like his personal image, which displeased him: “He’s very weak.”
Contrary to what Venezuelans here in the U.S. think, Trump and his disastrous foreign policy allowed Russia to intervene in his area of influence. On the other hand, the U.S. let Putin stay with the Crimea (because it is an area of Russian influence).
Trump distanced himself from NATO and left Angela Merkel alone to face the Russian leader. Is he the one who will save Venezuela from Nicolas Maduro, a puppet in the hands of Moscow? Ha! and three times, ha!.
Biden, whom Trump’s propaganda wants to dress up as a ‘socialist,’ has things clear in that area: “Maduro is a dictator, plain and simple. Venezuela’s primary objective must be to press for a democratic outcome through free and fair elections and help the Venezuelan people rebuild their country.
That is Biden’s approach to Maduro’s circus charade of ‘elections’ in December to replace the National Assembly headed by Juan Guaidó.
So… Do Venezuelans prefer Trump? That’s what some claim here in the U.S.
Pablo Hiriart For El Financiero
Pablo Hiriat is a journalist graduated from the FCPyS. Founding reporter of La Jornada and founding director of La Crónica de Hoy. Former director of La Razón. Currently General Director of Political and Social Information at El Financiero.