The US says its strategy against Maduro works, but it will take time

“I would say that the US efforts have worked,” Southern Command chief Craig Feller told himself, although not “fast enough for the Venezuelan people.”

By:
AFP

04:25 PM / 05/10/2020

International efforts to displace President Nicolás Maduro from power “have worked,” Admiral Craig Faller, head of the US Southern Command, defended this Monday, saying that it will take time to obtain results.

Since January 2019, the Government of Donald Trump has led a diplomatic offensive in favor of the parliamentary leader Juan Guaidó, whom it recognizes as the country’s interim president, although impatience among Venezuelans in the opposition grows because this has not materialized on the ground after two years suffering economic sanctions.

“I’m often asked, why is it taking so long? Why haven’t America’s efforts worked?” Faller wondered at an online roundtable with his political adviser, Ambassador Jean Manes, hosted by the forum. Business Council of the Americas.

“I would say that the United States’ efforts have worked,” he replied, although not “fast enough for the Venezuelan people.”

“It took a generation to get to this point and it will take a while to unpack the democratic framework of Representative (Elliott) Abrams,” he explained, referring to the senior US official in charge of Venezuela.

Faller added that Maduro remains in power thanks to external factors made up of Cuba, which provides intelligence services; Russia, which provides economic and military aid; China, which is its main creditor; and Iran, which is supplying oil.

“Everything fits together like the complex weave of the most intricate Persian carpet,” Faller said, ascribing to these factors “the slow shift towards democracy.”

The leader of the Southern Command, which is in charge of US military operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, in turn congratulated Colombia for overcoming the accumulated challenges posed by drug trafficking, the flow of Venezuelan migrants and the pandemic.

“The peace process has had challenges due to the threats that Colombia finds in the neighborhood,” Faller said, referring to the five million people who according to the UN have emigrated from Venezuela, many across the border with Colombia.

“And in addition to that they have responded to the covid,” he said.

Faller also condemned illegal fishing, most of which would be the responsibility of China, “a corrosive influence in this hemisphere,” he charged.

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