VALLADOLID, Spain – Over the past two weeks, Spain has become an accidental protagonist in the diplomatic efforts to end Venezuela’s crises.
The country was recently in the spotlight when opposition leader Leopoldo López sought refuge as a “guest” in the Spanish Embassy in Caracas after calls for a military uprising failed on April 30. López, whose father is a Spanish citizen and a candidate for European Parliament, will likely reside at the embassy for the foreseeable future.
Further, on May 8 the acting Spanish foreign minister sparred with Donald Trump’s Special Representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, accusing the United States of acting “like a western cowboy.” Days later, Spanish law enforcement arrested a former Venezuelan electric power development minister on a U.S. warrant, the second such detention in a month.
The good news is that Spain is well-positioned to lead the effort to restore democracy in Venezuela. The bad news is that the Spanish government, led by the center-left Socialist Party, is deeply conflicted about what to do – potentially missing an opportunity to offer clear, consistent and vocal leadership that would stand in contrast to the Trump administration’s “cowboy” approach.
No one should be worried about American military action anywhere in Latin America. The notion is risible. But President Trump’s cavalier remark last week referring to a “possible military option” to deal with the increasingly dictatorial regime led by President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela has real consequences.
Mientras algunos expertos en Washington consideran que la instalación del Tribunal Supremo opositor venezolano es legítima, otros creen que estos magistrados, no serán objetivos en sus juicios. Michael Shifter comenta.
President Trump’s trip to the Summit of the Americas in Peru will mark his first visit to Latin America. After Peru, the president will travel to Colombia, where he will meet with outgoing president Juan Manuel Santos. To provide insight and analysis prior to this visit, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center assembled a private press roundtable of leading analysts and journalists on April 4.