Political and economic analyst Raul Mas says Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has proven unsuccessful in getting Venezuelans to rally around him.
Guaido, as head of parliament, became interim president in 2018 following the disputed reelection of President Nicolas Maduro. He is still seen by the United States and Britain as Venezuela's rightful leader, but his status was downgraded by European Union states in late January after he lost his position as head of parliament following legislative elections in December.
“A lot of hopes were pinned on Mr. Guaido and his opposition and the truth of the matter is he has sort of proven unsuccessful in getting Venezuelans to rally around him,” Mas said Thursday during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s “John Bachman Now.”
“Part of the problem the United States is facing is we don’t have a lot of really good policy options available to us. The Venezuelan economy has been in a real free fall. Depending on what numbers you believe, somewhere like 5 to 7 million people have fled the country. It’s a disaster. The United States — it would be tough to put any additional sanctions because you get to the point where you’re really starting to hurt people who are struggling to survive in the country. There aren’t a whole lot of good policy options on the table, unfortunately.”
Mas also said the Biden administration shouldn’t repeal former President Donald Trump’s sanctions on Cuba and renew engagement with the communist-run country.
“I think it would be a mistake for the Biden administration to consider any sort of lifting of the sanctions that the Trump administration placed on Cuba and on Venezuela,” he told Bachman.
“Maduro remains in power in large part because he is a very large and sophisticated presence of Cuban security and intelligence agencies in the country that are serving as his praetorian guard, for lack of a better word. We can’t sort of keep laying out the welcome mat to individuals and countries that continue to be aligned against U.S. interest, Western interest and against human values and human dignity for Christ’s sake. … Before we engage in business with these countries, why don’t we ask for some respect toward human rights first. We’ve been doing it backward, quite frankly.”
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