Press Mentions

Even Maduro’s staunchest opponents in the region want to keep some distance from the US and from Trump since they can’t point to evidence that he is really focused on promoting democracy around the world. Aside from Latin America and in particular Maduro, the rule they see is Trump’s admiration for strongmen and lack of opposition to autocrats.
The crisis in Venezuela is so profound and tragic, and is having such a tremendous impact around the region, that Latin Americans are desperate to find some way to get it resolved. People know this effort is going to include the United States, but at the same time there are widespread hesitations and concerns because of the historic role the US has played in the region.
[Vecchio] is not going to be on one side or the other. He’ll try to build bridges and generate support. There is clearly broad, bipartisan support for democratic transition in Venezuela, but this is a very polarized city, with a sort of reflex to be against whatever Trump tries to promote. There’s a lot of mistrust of Trump among Democrats … but Vecchio is the right person to navigate this political environment. He knows he needs the support of the Trump administration, and he also knows that the Democrats control the House and that he really has to get bipartisan support.
I have a very high regard for Carlos Vecchio. He’s got the background, skills and temperament for the job. He’s very committed to democratic transition, but he’s level-headed and realistic, and he’s been in this fight for a long time.
Mi sensación es que el Presidente Piñera tiene estrechos lazos con las figuras de la oposición venezolana y un compromiso para ayudar al país a avanzar hacia la democracia. […] Sospecho que era importante para él estar en Cúcuta en un momento tan crucial, para mostrar solidaridad. El Presidente Piñera puede haber pensado también que al apoyar a Guaidó también podría anotarse algunos puntos en Chile. […] Maduro es inmensamente impopular y Piñera quiso sacar ventaja en un momento de alto perfil para demostrar que está en el lado correcto.
Trump is not the best messenger to call for democracy in Venezuela, but in general, the Trump administration has been on the right side of this issue, recognizing that it is the most urgent in the Western Hemisphere. […] My concern is that they (members of the Trump administration) aren't really able to take advantage of this coalition because they have this over-the-top rhetoric and (issue) constant threats of invasion, and that doesn't make our Latin American or European allies comfortable.
A Trump le conviene agitar constantemente (el temor del) 'socialismo' de cara a su campaña de reelección en 2020. No es casualidad que su discurso sobre Venezuela tuviera lugar en Miami, porque Florida es un estado clave en la batalla por la Casa Blanca.
[Tras lo sucedido el sábado, a Guaidó le quedó claro que] Maduro mantiene el control de por lo menos un sector significativo de las fuerzas militares y paramilitares –algunos de ellos, además, están dispuestos a disparar contra civiles inocentes– y que el esfuerzo para destronarlo a través de un aumento de la presión económica, diplomática y protestas callejeras no ha sido tan rápido y contundente como esperaban. Si el plan B de Guaidó y Borges era una intervención militar, la reunión del Grupo de Lima les echó un baldado de agua fría, por lo menos por ahora.
[The Venezuelan opposition] thought it was going to be over, if not close to over. They thought they’d get some aid in, that more of the senior military officials would flip. It just didn’t happen. So, they say, ‘What do we do next?’ The problem is if they continue to have the same strategy, using diplomatic and economic pressure, it drags on. And if it drags on, there may be some real splits within the opposition.