why is elliot abrams grinning? i’m sorry to say, as usual, we are about to find out

Pindostan tells Guaido he may renounce his Venezuela ‘presidency’ claim, but they’ll still support him
RT.com, Mar 31 2020

Special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams speaks about the new proposal
at the State Dept, Mar 31 2020. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Reuters

The Pindo State Dept magnanimously agreed that opposition politician Juan Guaido may not actually be president of Venezuela, but insisted he still has to be part of a transition government if Caracas wants sanctions relief. Sec State Pompeo put forth a “democratic transition framework” on Tuesday, under which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would set up a power-sharing interim government with Guaido, that would arrange for elections in six months to a year. According to Pompeo, the proposal “protects the interests and equities of all Venezuelan people who desperately seek a resolution to their dire political, economic and humanitarian crisis,” and he urged all sides to “carefully and seriously” consider it. Pindostan & Eurostan would lift their sanctions against Venezuela, including a ban on oil exports and on Maduro and his colleagues personally, if and when the initiative is “fully implemented,” the State Dept said.

Within hours, the government in Caracas rejected the Pindo plan, tweeting:

Pompeo told reporters:

We’ve made clear all along that Nicolas Maduro will never again govern Venezuela. Weworked closely with Juan Guaido when they put together the proposal, and continue to support him. I think he’s the most popular politician in Venezuela. I think if there were an election held today, he could do incredibly well.

In reality, the 36-year-old politician repeatedly failed to muster any decisive support for his claim in Venezuela, despite millions of dollars in Pindo funding, and crushing sanctions targeting Maduro’s government as well as the country in general. Less than a hundred troops answered Guaido’s call for an armed uprising at the end of Apr 2019. Just last week, the Pindo DoJ charged Maduro with conspiring with Colombian Communists to flood Pindostan with drugs and offered a $15m bounty for his capture. It was a transparent ploy if ever there was one, since it was Guaido who was photographed in the company of Colombian drug-runners who helped him get back and forth across the border. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the charges “a new form of coup d’etat,” and said it showed the “desperation” of the “Faschingstein elite,” and their “obsession” with Venezuela. Just hours before the State Dept announcement, a court in Caracas summoned Guaido to appear next Thursday and answer questions about a weapons cache intercepted at the border with Colombia, calling him a suspect in an “attempted coup and assassination” plot. Maduro has pleaded with the UN and other international organizations for relief from the Pindo blockade, citing the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected Venezuela, but so far his calls have fallen on deaf ears. Pompeo’s new proposal for Venezuela is essentially a copy of the Pindo-backed peace initiative for Syria circa 2015, which also insisted on the need for regime change and establishment of a transitional government with “moderate rebels.” That plan eventually fell through after Russia sent an expeditionary force to help the government in Damascus deal with Jihadis and Daesh terrorists, sidelining Pindostan.

Pindostan calls on Maduro and Guaidó to stand down in Venezuela transition plan
Julian Borger, Groon, Mar 31 2020

Special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams speaks about the new proposal
at the State Dept, Mar 31 2020. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Reuters

Pindostan has proposed a political transition plan for Venezuela, offering to lift sanctions if Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó step aside and pass power to an interim government made up of their supporters. Under the “democratic transition framework”, all political prisoners would be released, and all foreign forces would leave. A five-member council of state would be selected, with two members chosen by the opposition, two by Maduro’s Socialist party, and the fifth member picked by the other four. The military high command would remain in place. Pindo special representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told AP:

The hope is that this set-up promotes the selection of people who are very broadly respected and known as people who can work with the other side.

Pindostan & Eurostan would then lift sanctions on the current leadership. Broader sanctions on the country’s oil business would be lifted after all foreign forces had left the country. All sanctions would be lifted after free elections, to be held within six to 12 months. The proposal comes five days after Pindostan indicted Maduro and top members of his government and army for drug trafficking and money laundering, and as Venezuela faces blanket sanctions, a collapse in the price of oil, its main export, and the coronavirus pandemic, with a crippled health system. Pindo Sec State Pompeo said:

Pindostan has long been committed to finding a solution to the man-made crisis in Venezuela. The urgency for this has become all the more serious in light of the Maduro regime’s failure to adequately prepare for and address the global COVID-19 pandemic. This framework demonstrates our commitment to helping Venezuela fully recover and ensures that the voice of the Venezuelan people is respected and included.

Sceptics of the plan said it provided few incentives for the incumbent officials to give up power, days after they were charged with serious offences and multimillion-dollar rewards put on their heads. David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, tweeted:

Briefing journalists on the new plan, a senior admin boxtop said Pindostan was prepared to negotiate with Maduro about the terms of his departure from office. But he referred to the fate of Gen Manuel Noriega of Panama, who was indicted on drug smuggling charges in 1988 and then removed in a Pindo invasion the next year, saying:

History shows that those who do not cooperate with Pindo law enforcement agencies do not fare well. Maduro probably regrets not taking the offer six months ago. We urge Maduro not to regret not taking it now.

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