miércoles, 2 de agosto de 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson contradicts Michael J. Fitzpatrick

 Today, at 11:30 a.m., I read in The Washington Post a statement by Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Venezuela, see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/08/02/venezuela-shows-why-the-u-s-cannot-downgrade-democracy/?utm_term=.3901a8516b3a, that seems to be in clear contradiction to the statement made by Michael J. Fitzpatrick , which I had commented in my blog: http://lasarmasdecoronel.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-deplorable-statement-on-venezuela.html , prior to reading Mr. Tillerson’s statement. I felt relieved to see that the statement by Mr. Fitzpatrick does not reflect the current thinking at the Department of State.
Mr. Tillerson says: “We are very, very troubled by what we’re seeing unfold following the constituent assembly vote, which went about as we expected, but the re-arrest of opposition leaders last night is very alarming. This could lead to an outbreak of further violence in the country. The situation, from a humanitarian standpoint, is already becoming dire. We are evaluating all our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution. But we are quite concerned about we’re seeing down there. It is a policy discussion that’s currently under development through the interagency process this week”.
This statement by Mr. Tillerson is quite stronger than Mr. Fitzpatrick’s statement and has to be assumed to be the one carrying more weight, as Mr. Tillerson is the boss. He says that either Maduro quits on his own or the U.S. will force him out. At least this is my understanding of his phrasing.  
My conclusion is, therefore, that the statement of Mr. Fitzpatrick should be largely disregarded, at least in his attempts at setting U.S. policy regarding Venezuela.

So, we wait for the U.S. to act. We, Venezuelans, hope that the U.S. will lead the region in the efforts to oust the narco-regime that has destroyed the country. There is no doubt that the current regime is illegitimate and corrupt and has no place in a democratic, civilized region.  

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

De acuerdo. No obstante, habrá que esperar cómo influye la comedia de equívocos que mantiene Trump con Putin. Al momento, por lo menos podemos decir que la esperanza es lo último que se pierde.

Jacob Sulzbach dijo...

Tillerson's statement, as well as the short one that came later from the White House, were both welcome follow-ups to the limitations Fitzpatrick placed upon U. S. options earlier.  Either all options are on the table or they are not.  Tillerson and Trump both acted to reaffirm that they are and that is a positive development.

But what is particularly troubling is the confusion within the Trump administration about what to do that is made evident in this process of releasing and then correcting statements on key matters of policy.  Jennifer Rubin's article at the Washington Post finished with her critique that there was a lack of coherence in the administration's policy about what to do regarding Venezuela.  I have to agree, so I think the first thing the U. S. should do is to sit down and provide clarity about what will be done if the Maduro regime's consolidation of its authoritarian rule proceeds.  Let Maduro and his supporters know exactly what the costs will be if they proceed in the direction in which they are now headed.  And above all else, make clear that there is a credible threat of meaningful, and if necessary unilateral, action that will present an end-game scenario.

My personal feeling is that the Trump administration is deterred from doing anything substantial owing to their fears that financial markets are now at great risk due to an increasingly likely default by Venezuela on bond interest payments that will be coming due in just a few months.  I do not think Trump wants to take responsibility for that default, which is a risk he faces if he takes strong action now.  Few Americans understand just how significantly exposed major investment firms and investment banks are in Venezuelan bonds; Goldman Sachs, Pimco, J. P. Morgan, and international investment banks such as Nomura are all at risk of facing significant adjustments from a Venezuelan default.  Once you add into the mix that any meaningful action taken against Venezuela to coerce their compliance on political reform, such as proposals to limit their oil exports, the risk of further negative consequences for the economic outlook of the U. S., Europe, and Japan then comes into play at a time when the international economy is still struggling.  These threats look quite real in Washington and they must be acting as a deterrent against meaningful action at the present moment.

I believe the Trump administration is waiting for the change in international attitudes that will follow a Venezuelan default in order to justify the kinds of strong action that will be required to bring the Maduro regime to heel.  And that is a mistake, because once the U. S. permits itself to be frozen in place, as we are now, the possibility that we will find a successful road out of the situation becomes all the more difficult.

It is time for the U. S. Treasury Department to inform financial markets that a Venezuelan bond default is all but a foregone conclusion--and then tell the investment bankers who will howl upon hearing it to deal with reality--so that the Trump administration, acting in concert with other major players on the international scene, can put the threat of credible action against the Maduro regime on the table.  The current level of indecision is breeding disaster.

Anónimo dijo...

No se equivoquen con Smartmatic ahora cantan porque no tienen otra opción, por la evidente presion internacional, pero venian apoyando todas las trampas anteriores de estos "entes que no son mas que walking deads" desde hace mucho tiempo. Ahora a contar votos uno a uno con presencia de cascos azules no mas CNE no mas Plan Republica. Les coloco la referencia del New York Times


Blowing the whistle on a client might not seem very good for business. But an election-systems company might see no other option if it believes a government is making unrealistic claims about election turnout, as appears to be the case with Smartmatic in Venezuela.

Failing to speak out could make the company complicit in potential voter fraud. Sunday's election was in Venezuela was internationally condemned as an unconstitutional power grab, and that criticism might have influenced Smartmatic's decision.