The vice president outlined the next steps the Trump administration is ready to take to pressure the Maduro regime. ... Play Video
“It is unquestionable that over the last two years there has been profound transformation across Latin America," said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the 49th Washington Conference on the Americas. Pence's remarks covered U.S. relations with countries from Ecuador to Brazil, but focused, in large part, on supporting a democratic transition in Venezuela. He outlined the next steps the Trump administration is ready to take to pressure the Maduro regime, including holding Venezuelan Supreme Court magistrates accountable and removing sanctions on military leaders willing to defect.
"Unless Maduro wants to go, they can’t force him out," said AS/COA vice president on Bloomberg. ... Play Video
Eric Farnsworth, vice president of AS/COA, spoke with David Westin of Bloomberg's Balance of Power about the situation in Venezuela. "I think [Maduro] made a mistake that was an obvious exit strategy where he would have been able to leave the country intact, probably have a negotiated deal to have access to some of his ill-gotten gains, and have safety for the foreseeable future."
Farnsworth also touched on the impact of hyperinflation in the military. "[Hyperinflation] doesn’t have any indication of getting better any time soon…The military might have a uniform on but they still have to live in the local economy, their families still have to find ways to eat...If you’re a senior military member, you have access to corruption, drug trafficking."
Farnsworth also spoke on the international community's role. "Cuba in particular has been fully entwined in the security apparatus in Venezuela for years. Hugo Chávez originally brought them in shortly after he was elected…The Lima group has been a very important initiative in my view for the last couple years. It’s trying to find a peaceful solution—a third way, if you will—which will bring about democratic change and subject to the rule of law." However, Farnsworth says that the Lima Group doesn't have all the tools available to it. "Unless Maduro wants to go, they can't force him out."