Juan Guaidó is a useful pawn for U.S. interests in Venezuela, but is he expendable?
On January 15th, the White House reported that VP Mike Pence spoke by phone “today” with Guaidó, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly. It claimed the call was made “to recognize his courageous leadership following his arrest and intimidation this weekend, and to express the United States’ resolute support for the National Assembly of Venezuela as the only legitimate democratic body in the country.” On the 23rd, Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela.
In its brief statement about the call between Pence and Guaidó, the White House failed to report that the VP “pledged” that the Trump administration would support him “if he seized the reins of government from [elected President] Nicolas Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution.”
This was revealed by The Wall Street Journal and sheds light on what actually was said during the conversation. “That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers, and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaido himself,” it reported. Citing an anonymous administration official, it noted, “Almost instantly, just as Mr. Pence had promised, President Trump issued a statement recognizing Mr. Guaido as the…