An Update on the Venezuelan Campaign

By Ed Timperlake

Recently, Norway provided an update on the Venezuelan talks.

Norway says Venezuelan talks making progress

In a statement, the opposition said the meeting ended without an agreement but that it was prepared to continue working with Norway to find a solution to Venezuela’s crisis. It also said it remained committed to its goals of an end to Maduro’s rule, followed by a transitional government and free elections.

The mediation will be useful as long as there are “elements” that can lead to a “real solution,” the opposition said.

Even as negotiations played out in Norway, the pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice stripped the immunity from prosecution of opposition lawmaker, Rafael Guzman, bringing to 15 the number of anti-government politicians accused of treason and instigating rebellion, according to a court statement released Wednesday.

But one has to understand, we are dealing with a campaign on both sides to end up as the winner in a zero sum contest in one key sense — who governs Venezeuela?

During the Norway process, Maduro has just declared ongoing “lawfair” again important Guaido allies.

People I know and trust with decades of experience in Venezuela tell me those targeted are first class courageous competent people.

This type of attack on the Guaido Administration may be a short sided effort given the debt situation facing Maduro’s led Venezuela.

Guaido’s team is now working with a Wall Street sovereign debt lawyer Lee Buchiet to shape a powerful tool in the conflict with Maduro.

“Lee has great respect in the sovereign debt community and among commercial creditors, government lenders and public officials,” said Ricardo Hausmann, the opposition’s representative at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Russia is a country with significant predatory oligarchs owed a lot on money secured by Maduro’s economically hollow ability to service his debt obligations. His team has let the current oil fields go into ruin while living large off illegal narcotics profits.

And Maduro’s team just went after the new Administration engaged with a world class expert who directly influences financial markets. Reclaiming the untapped oil industry revenues to service Venezuelan debt is the only financial hope for all Venezuelans.

Illegal “lawfair” is a lasting huge fatal mistake made by Maduro gang.

In the ongoing Guaido/Maduro engagement in Norway there is a very significant Breitbart article that confirms Secretary of State Pompeo successfully cut an endgame deal in Russia after President Trump and President Putin’s phone call.

But Putin did not have to wait to read Breitbart to know President Trump’s position.

“We are not supportive of courses of action that leave corrupt and non-democratic actors in power or buy time for the Maduro regime to further consolidate its hold on the country,” the spokesperson said.

“Any discussion of a transition must include Maduro’s departure as a precondition for elections; the increasing repression and attacks against democratic institutions is proof positive that Maduro is unwilling or incapable of respecting democratic processes.”

The inevitable consequences of the early set-back “are we there yet” frustrations are now being felt by those who tried and failed earlier.

They all really need to be strongly reminded of a Ben Franklin warning made in the Continental Congress just before signing the Declaration of Independence, 1776:

“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Venezuela’s opposition, led by the socialist-dominated Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), conducted talks with the regime in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Each time, Maduro urged the opposition to end street protests and pressure on him to step down.

In today’s America, President Trump as  Commander-in Chief, can bring the Venezuelan Campaign home to safe-harbor. Or if the campaign fails, then President Trump can re-set the effort in the next round of bringing democracy to Venezuela.

Americans always have a note of continued optimism, a point made by Winston Churchill.

“This is a very great country my dear Jack. Not pretty or romantic but great and utilitarian.

“There seems to be no such thing as reverence or tradition.

“Everything is eminently practical and things are judged from a matter of fact standpoint.”

This is how would see the evolving Trump doctrine in global affairs.

With regard to Venezuela,  fortunately there is not in an all-out “dirty war” defining the way ahead. But we shall see.

Maduro’s “Dirty War” in Venzuela: How Does This Lead to a Peaceful Transition?