January 29, 2019
The Trump administration should be commended for taking action to end of the appalling dictatorship of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. On January 12th Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US was recognizing the interim government of Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan Parliament, as the legitimate government of the country. Removal of a president as a result of a flawed election is a provision in the Venezuelan constitution.
Through careful advance work by the US foreign affairs team, Canada and almost all of the countries of South American (excepting Bolivia and Uruguay) recognized the new government shortly after the United States. Of course, Nicholas Maduro disputed the legitimacy of the interim government, and the effort to remove Maduro was also condemned by Russia, Turkey, Iran, China and Cuba. The condemnation by this Club of Dictators provides the strongest possible endorsement of the validity of the new government.
At this time, Maduro still has the support of the leadership of Venezuela’s military whom have greatly profited from his regime. Whether this support extends down the ranks is in doubt. Also, he has a palace guard of security professionals provided by Cuba, indicating a distrust of his own countrymen for this assignment. However, with the prestige of the United States on the line, and with the support of most of the Free World, it is unlikely that the Trump administration will allow him remain in power even if it eventually involves military intervention.
We hope this action will soon lift the yoke of oppression from the long-suffering Venezuelan people.
Byron K. Varme