This is not a post on the Venezuelan situation per se. To be clear, Maduro is terrible, but so is the opposition, who are dominated by the sort of racists that vote for Bolsonaro in Brazil and Trump in the United States. There is no easy answer for Venezuelans about their own country and even fewer easy answers about what outside nations should do, which is mostly shut up, don’t try to intervene, and let in more immigrants from that country.
But with the Mustache of Death advising our Idiot King, the Trump administration is engaging in head over heels activity of sheer and utter incompetence, lies, and buffoonery to take down the Maduro government. The belief that the administration’s call for the opposition to rise up was going to lead to Maduro’s government’s collapse was completely ridiculous and of course has blown up in everyone’s face. If you are Bolton and Trump, who is the only nation who could be responsible for this debacle: Cuba!
Mr. Trump is being prodded to take an aggressive position on Venezuela by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida. Ousting Mr. Maduro would be extremely popular with the Cuban exile community in South Florida, which views the socialist government in Venezuela as a proxy for Cuba.
The National Security Council held a principals’ meeting on Wednesday to discuss “what additional steps need to be taken to speed up and secure a peaceful transition of power,” Mr. Bolton said. Mr. Pompeo called the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, to warn Moscow not to interfere in Venezuela.
“Intervention by Russia and Cuba is destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship,” Mr. Pompeo told Mr. Lavrov, according to the State Department.
The administration has been generally skeptical of information from the Venezuelan opposition, although Mr. Trump does receive some information directly from Mr. Rubio or Senator Rick Scott, Florida’s other Republican senator.
One area where the White House has been at odds with the C.I.A. is the agency’s assessment of Cuban participation and support for the Maduro government.
Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo have consistently criticized Cuba for its support for the Venezuelan government. But the C.I.A. has concluded that Cuba is far less involved and its support has been far less important than senior officials in the administration believe, according to a former official.
As the CIA obviously knows, Cuba completely lacks the capability to engage in this sort of action. Cuba is a poor nation with a stagnant economy that had to be propped up for years by Venezuelan oil! This scenario doesn’t suddenly reverse itself and Cuba is now the benefactor. But then this is all about Trump’s idiocy, Bolton’s mendacity, Marco Rubio’s craven desire for power in Florida, and Elliott Abrams’ sheer evil. The U.S. may have the leaders we deserve, but Latin America definitely does not have the U.S. leaders they deserve.