Time is not on the side of the Venezuelan socialist regime

Eli Lake:
... When a president wants to start a war, he doesn’t position the U.S. Agency for International Development at the border. He sends in the Marines.

What’s more, Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaido, is not asking America to invade Venezuela. So far, U.S. policy has been to persuade its allies to recognize his presidency; to sanction Maduro, his regime and the national oil company; and to urge the military to defect. It’s regime change through private and public diplomacy.

This is the approach emphasized Monday at a meeting of Latin American countries formed to address the crisis caused by Maduro’s misrule. The so-called Lima Group made it clear that it was not endorsing an invasion or military force for now. Instead it announced plans to take Maduro himself to the International Criminal Court.

Skeptics may ask how Guaido will force Maduro to leave without guns or a foreign army. But Guaido’s method of appealing to the conscience of the military and organizing the population has worked before — in Serbia in 2000 and in Egypt in 2010. In both countries, the military stood down in the face of popular defiance.

So far Guaido has had modest success with the military. There has been a steady trickle of defections, according to the opposition and news reports. Over the weekend, a journalist tweeted a photo of a boarding pass to China through Russia for the children of one of Maduro’s top allies, Diosdado Cabello.

The crucial fact to remember here is that time is not on Maduro’s side. As their access to international capital and bank accounts is constricted, Maduro and his henchmen will find it harder to stay in power. Eventually his most important international backers, Russia and China, will want their debts repaid. Maduro has no chance of doing that with international sanctions on the oil industry.

Add to this that many of the Venezuelan military’s top officers have children studying in the U.S. and other countries that are now recognizing Guaido as interim president. And though Guaido has not yet gotten many high-level defections, neither has the military taken decisive action to keep Maduro in power.
Trump is finding ways to put pressure on the regime short of military action, although he could have Marines in position to land in the area within a week.  The aid pincer movement from the borders of Colombia and Brazil puts stress on the Venezuelan forces and exposed their tyranny to the world when they attack aid workers and burned the desperately needed food.  It was a move that further discredited the government in the eyes of the people and that is what should eventually bring the despots down.  Maduro played into Trump's hands and did not seem to recognize it, yet.

BTW, here is the question that the media should be putting to supporters of socialism in the US.  What did Venezuela do wrong in implementing socialism that led to people eating food from garbage trucks?  How can they say that failed socialist regimes did not do it right if they can't explain what they did wrong?


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