Headline: How to get rid of Nicolás Maduro
Sub-headline: An attempt to depose the dictator appears to have failed. Try again
The Posh Boys paraphrase both John Bolton and Mike Pompeo:
John Bolton, America’s national security adviser, said on April 30th that senior regime officials, including the defence minister and the commander of the presidential guard, had agreed to dump Mr Maduro and transfer power to Mr Guaidó. Mike Pompeo, America’s secretary of state, later insisted that Mr Maduro had been worried enough to have a plane waiting to spirit him to Havana but was dissuaded by his Russian allies.
And the Trump administration’s propaganda about ‘the troika of tyranny’ is repeated here:
The Trump administration has lumped Venezuela in with Cuba and Nicaragua in a “troika of tyranny”. It seems as eager to dislodge Cuba’s 60-year-old communist regime as it is to get rid of Mr Maduro. To that end it recently intensified America’s embargo on the island, including by letting American citizens sue European and Canadian companies that do business using Cuban assets stolen after the revolution.
The Posh Boys at The Economist offer this sketch of a strategy.
American disdain for Cuba’s regime is justified. Its hundreds of spies in Venezuela help keep Mr Maduro in power. But the swipes at Cuba will tighten this bond precisely when America should be trying to prise it apart. Lawsuits against European firms will frustrate concerted diplomatic action against Venezuela. In the cause of removing Mr Maduro, America should for the time being set its quarrel with Cuba to one side.
The crucial choice lies with Venezuela’s army commanders. Mr Maduro’s misrule offers them no future. It has crushed the economy, starved the people, strangled democracy and forced more than 3m Venezuelans into exile. The hardship is bound to worsen with new American oil sanctions this year. The generals must begin to act like patriots. They need to destroy the regime, before the regime destroys their country.
The reader is left to wonder, do any of these Armchair Generals have any military or strategic experience? Or is this a riff on the Neo-Conservatives, who got America into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Neither War nor Occupation of these two countries has resulted in anything but bloody stalemates. Note that slavering Neo-Con Elliott Abrams is in charge of this operation.