Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear Monday that the United States did not plan a military intervention in Venezuela even as he vowed that leftist leader Nicolas Maduro would one day fall.
In a speech on Latin America, Pompeo renewed President Donald Trump’s promise to battle socialism across the hemisphere but said his policy in Venezuela is “mixed with restraint.”
“We’ve seen folks calling for regime change through violent means, and we’ve said that all options are on the table to help the Venezuelan people recover their democracy and prosperity,” Pompeo said at the University of Louisville.
“That is certainly still true. But we’ve learned from history that the risks from using military force are significant,” he said.
Pointing to hard-hitting US sanctions that include curbs on Venezuela’s key export of oil, Pompeo said that US efforts have been “realistic, within the capacity of American power.”
Trump since January has been demanding the resignation of Maduro, a leftist firebrand who presides over a crumbling economy that has led millions of people to flee.
But Maduro remains in power with the support of Russia and China and opposition efforts to install Juan Guaido, the young head of the National Assembly, have fizzled.
Pompeo nonetheless voiced confidence that Maduro would fall and suggested he may share the inglorious fate of Romania’s communist dictator.
“In July of 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu said capitalism would come to Romania when apples grew on poplar trees — and by December he was hanging from a rope,” Pompeo said.
“The end will come for Maduro as well. We just don’t know what day.”
Trump repeatedly has said that “all options are on the table” — words that Maduro sees as evidence of a US plan for a coup — but has spoken less on Venezuela as the months pass by.
Unlike on many of its international priorities, the Trump administration has found support on Venezuela, with most Western and Latin American nations also considering Guaido the interim president.
© 2019 AFP
GOP governors are refusing to do Trump’s bidding and ducking him on the campaign trail: report
On Saturday, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times profiled how President Donald Trump is having less luck whipping Republican governors into line than Republican senators, including governors who arguably owe their election to his support.
"In Florida, Mr. Trump’s aides helped save the flailing candidacy of Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary, and then the general election," wrote Haberman. "Also last year, in Georgia, Mr. Trump helped pull Brian Kemp over the finish line in both the primary and the general election. In both cases, Mr. Trump’s advisers implored him to stay out of the primaries, and he agreed to — only to surprise his aides by jumping in to support Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Kemp."
Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president — Trump may change all that
President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.
It’s not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.
Giuliani’s latest trip to Ukraine opened a new door for prosecutors to go after Trump: MSNBC analyst
On MSNBC Saturday afternoon, legal analyst Danny Cevallos explained how Rudy Giuliani's trip to Ukraine to produce anti-impeachment propaganda could end up harming his legal position — by muddying attorney-client privilege with President Donald Trump.
"The only path to legitimacy is if there was a true corruption threat in Ukraine, and specifically if Hunter Biden and Burisma posed a true corruption threat," said Cevallos. "That is why Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine. He's building that case. So that he can show, bring a news network there, right-leaning news network to do a documentary or investigate this issue and yield factual information that Rudy Giuliani can point to and say, this corruption, this evidence, these facts show that President trump was warranted in requesting an investigation, not generally into corruption, specifically into Hunter Biden. It's the only path that will work for Republicans that passes even remotely any kind of smell test. Even then, it's a bit of a stretch."