US Vice President Pence’s Meeting on Venezuela

US Department of State / Government Work

Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, was on Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan to analyze Vice-President Mike Pence’s participation in the Eleventh Lima Group meeting in Bogotá.

Comments by Michael Shifter: 

“These extra sanctions that were discussed in Bogotá will increase the pressure somewhat, they may hurt a little bit. It is unclear whether they will have a stronger effect on the sanctions that are already in place and it’s unclear whether they will have the intended effect which tries to change the government in Venezuela and bring about a democratic transition.“

“To the extent that this goes on, it is cruel and devastating for a country that is suffering, with hundreds of thousands of people reportedly starving to death. [...] I think the gamble was that this was not going to be cruel because it would be a final blow against Maduro, and we are seeing that this is going to take some time.”

“I think [Pence] is echoing what he heard from Senator Rubio and John Bolton, this is the line in terms of threatening the high-level military officers. I am not as confident that this will produce the desired results, I think this could have the opposite effect and lead the military to coalesce around Maduro. I don’t think that threats from a foreign power, especially the US, tend to work very well.”

Listen to the full interview here


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˙Michael Shifter