Maduro, Guaido talks to continue

Another round of talks between Maduro and Guaido envoys ended after a week of meetings in Barbados. Norway, who is mediating the talks, says that despite no agreement being reached, talks will continue.

Jackson Diehl: The Venezuela crisis is going to get much worse — and Trump will get the blame

“The most plausible and most disturbing forecast was this: By December, an additional 1 million Venezuelans will pour into Colombia and other nearby countries — and the region will be unable to cope with them. The Trump administration will find itself facing demands that it mount some kind of intervention to stanch a crisis on the Venezuelan-Colombian border far worse than anything ever seen on the U.S.-Mexican frontier.”

Michael Gerson: This nightmare is what Venezuela has become

“This is what the Venezuelan experiment in Chavism has become: the employment of armed thugs to extort impoverished little girls. A better future will require an end to the Venezuelan regime’s cruelty, corruption and incompetence. But, in the meantime, the humanitarian emergency is acute and expanding. Aid organizations are operating at the limit of their resources. And the walkers continue their difficult journey.”

The Lima Groups calls on Russia to stay out of Venezuela

The Lima Group, a supranational organization made up of Latin American states, called on Russia, China, Cuba, and Turkey to stop supporting Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Maduro has been in a tenuous position for months as nearly all of his regional neighbors would like to see him ousted and have democracy return to Venezuela.

Russia disputes Trump’s Venezuela claim

After Donald Trump tweeted that Russia was pulling most of its people from Venezuela, the Kremlin responded by saying that there has been no official communication between the two sides on the matter. It is unclear if the Russians are lying or if Trump was relying on information he gleaned from a Wall Street Journal report that said that the Russian defense organization, Rostec, was pulling out of Venezuela.

Maduro cannot afford to pay for Russia’s help

Russia is withdrawing key advisers from Venezuela as the Maduro government is unable to pay for the services of Russia’s state defense contractor, Rostec. Although Russia’s military has made efforts to show support for Maduro in recent months, their cooperation is weakening as it is becoming apparent that Maduro cannot pay for their services.

Norway takes center stage in Venezuela peace talks

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has confirmed that he sent delegates to Norway to meet and negotiate with officials from Nicolas Maduro’s government. While talks have not started between the two sides, Norway hopes that it can deescalate the situation in Venezuela.

Trespassing activists arrested in Venezuela’s DC embassy

Activists with the organization Code Pink were arrested for failing to leave the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. The American, pro-Nicolas Maduro activists were protesting the recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, and preventing Venezuelan diplomats from taking control of the embassy.

US suspends flights to Venezuela

The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that it is suspending all passenger and cargo flights between the U.S. and Venezuela indefinitely. “This determination is based on the ongoing political instability and increased tensions in Venezuela and associated inadvertent risk to flight operations,” a DHS statement said, noting a concern for the safety of passengers, crew, and aircraft.

Jackson Diehl: The real reason Venezuela’s Maduro survives is dirty money

“Though both the Trump administration and Maduro’s far-left foreign defenders prefer to describe the Venezuelan crisis in political terms, the reality is that the regime is less a government — much less a socialist one — than a criminal gang. That has two consequences that are complicating its removal. First, the money it is reaping from criminal activity is serving as a prop that allows it to survive U.S. sanctions. Perhaps more importantly, the toxic taint on almost every top official makes it much harder to pursue the usual formulas for a peaceful transition, including the creation of a transitional government and amnesty for those who step down.”

Code Pink has control of Venezuela’s embassy in DC

Before Maduro’s diplomats were forced to leave the embassy, they invited Code Pink activists to occupy the building, preventing Juan Guaidó’s appointed ambassador from occupying the building. Thus, American activists who think they know better about what to do in Venezuela than Venezuelans themselves are currently preventing Venezuelans from entering their own embassy in Washington D.C.

Venezuela: Juan Guaido deputy arrested

Security forces arrested Edgar Zambrano, the second in command of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress Wednesday as President Nicolás Maduro’s government began going after foes tied to a failed attempt at a military uprising last week.

Trump losing confidence in Bolton

Donald Trump is growing increasingly angry at John Bolton over the failure to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, complaining that his own officials misled him about how easy it would be to overthrow him. Trump reportedly complained over the past week that Bolton and others underestimated Maduro, and expressed frustration about having to be involved for the “long haul.”

Venezuela: Rising tensions between US and Russia

Russia’s foreign minister urged the United States to abandon its “irresponsible” plan to topple Nicolas Maduro while his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo slammed Russian meddling in the South American country. Just two days earlier, President Trump had spoken with Vladimir Putin over the phone. Putin told him he wasn’t looking to get involved in Venezuela at all, which Trump seemed to be entirely convinced by.

Pompeo: US to offer Venezuela ‘full range of options’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the Trump administration is offering a broad range of options to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, including “diplomatic options, political options, options with our allies, and then ultimately a set of options that would involve use of U.S. military.” He also said support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó remains strong, and he demanded that interfering countries end their involvement in the conflict.

US confident with its intelligence on Venezuela

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan expressed confidence in U.S. intelligence on Venezuela as pressure mounts on the administration. U.S. intelligence has been scrutinized as Maduro remains in power. Shanahan insists that failures in intelligence like those that led up to the Iraq war in 2003 will not occur now with Venezuela.

Maduro flaunts military support

Amid the chaos and pressure in Venezuela, Maduro made his strongest attempt yet to show that the armed forces still support him. Maduro appeared in photos flanked by military leaders and soldiers, flaunting their loyalty to him, and attempting to take some of the momentum away from his opposition.

US military not ready for war in Venezuela

Despite statements from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggesting that the “military action is possible” in Venezuela, the Pentagon is responding by saying that it is not preparing to intervene in Venezuela. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, said that the main focus of the U.S. military is to gather intelligence in Venezuela.

Pompeo says military action in Venezuela possible

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview on Wednesday that the United States was prepared to take military action to stem the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela. “Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do,” Pompeo said.

Trump threatens Cuba

Donald Trump threatened economic war against Cuba if it does not remove its troops from Venezuela. He specifically suggested a full embargo of Cuba and the “highest-level” of sanctions if Cuba does not comply. Cuba has been very supportive of preserving the Maduro regime, providing soldiers and money.