Venezuela is the biggest socialist basket case in the Western Hemisphere. But even here, the Associated Press is touting how the Democrats will have a better, more productive foreign policy that’s not using “almost-daily vitriol” at the socialist basket case. From Miami, AP reporter Joshua Goodman touted leftist Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York City), who struck up a friendship with Venezuelan strongman Nicholas Maduro when Hugo Chavez was still alive.
The headline was “NY Democrat’s ties to Maduro may help Biden unlock stalemate.” Conservative groups have called Meeks “the most corrupt member of Congress.”
Naturally, liberals always mock “exile hardliners in Miami” as having too much say about Venezuela, just like the anti-communist Cubans:
To talk to Maduro or not: That’s the vexing question facing the incoming Biden administration as it re-evaluates a U.S. policy that has rallied exile hardliners in Miami but done little to cleave Maduro’s grip on power or ease the suffering of regular Venezuelans.
Aides to Biden say the president-elect has limited options for pressuring Maduro and there are no plans to lift crippling oil sanctions or an indictment against Maduro for drug trafficking.
But analysts expect Biden to dial down the almost-daily vitriol aimed at Maduro and threats of a “military option” that characterized Trump’s foreign policy, where Venezuela occupied a privileged space. Instead, he has vowed to emphasize a multilateral approach with the goal of holding free and fair elections as soon as possible.
Enter Meeks, who attended Chávez’s 2013 funeral on behalf of the Obama administration and whose long engagement with Latin America make him ideally positioned to open room for diplomacy. Even though he doesn’t speak Spanish, his reputation as a straight shooter has earned him respect across the region’s ideological divide.
Multilateral, eh? Post-ideological? So just who will America warm up to in “solving” Venezuela?
More controversially, [Meeks] is open to involving Maduro stalwarts Cuba and Russia in any negotiations that emerge — assuming U.S. allies agree.
“That’s a possibility,” he said, adding that the Trump administration’s designation this week of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism will complicate any outreach. “That’s how you resolve an issue of significance. You get buy-in from a number of different people so that it gives the people of Venezuela confidence in the election process.”
A recent State Department cable defending the Trump administration’s hardline policy warns that Russia is working closely with Maduro’s military and finance officials to undermine hemispheric security.
Iran and China was also Maduro buddies, but they don’t get a mention. Let’s guess none of these reporters are going to have a fit when suddenly, the Americans start getting more “multilateral” with Russia than Trump — the alleged Putin poodle.