The effectiveness of, and support for, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido appears to be on the decline. However, the United States is not going to give up easily on its plan to oust Maduro and might be preparing another “round,” an anonymous White House official said in a comment to The Washington Post.
“The United States never said that its effort in Venezuela would be limited to one round,” the official said. “The administration’s maximum-pressure policy relies upon consistency and discipline to achieve the ultimate goal.”
The official commented on rumours floated by another – now former – White House staffer, who said that Trump had become increasingly frustrated over the administration’s failure to orchestrate a regime change in Caracas.
According to the former employee, after Guaido’s 30 April coup attempt failed, Trump “chewed out the staff” in a meeting shortly after. The official said Trump viewed Venezuela as “low-hanging fruit”, on which he “could get a win and tout it as a major foreign policy” victory.
However, the Post’s interlocutor sought to dispel the allegations, calling the chewing-out reports “patently false”.
His words were supported by the White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, who tweets more about Venezuela than any other topic, The Washington Post notes.
“The United States will continue to stand firmly in support of ending Maduro’s repression”, Bolton wrote Tuesday.
Speaking to Venezuelan Americans in Miami earlier this week, US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that the Trump administration’s objective was “to see democracy and the rule of law restored in Venezuela so Venezuelans can go home to a free nation”.
The US supported Guaido, who proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January, in his effort to oust Maduro, who had won presidential elections earlier last year.
The Maduro administration accused the US of assisting the opposition in its alleged campaign to sabotage Venezuela’s electrical infrastructure, causing massive shortages of food, water and medical care. The United States attempted to make “humanitarian aid” deliveries via Colombia, but critics have said this was designed as a way to place pressure on Maduro and increase dissent among the armed forces.
Washington has repeatedly stated that “all options” regarding Venezuela were on the table – a threat that has not come to fruition even after Guaido sent a letter to Pentagon calling for “direct relations” with the opposition.
While the US and its allies recognise Guaido as Venezuelan President, Russia, China, Turkey and a number of other countries continue to consider Maduro the only legitimate Venezuelan leader.