The WSJ reports that, for the first time in twelve years (emphasis added),
Fourteen nations plan to issue a joint statement in coming days calling on the government of President Nicolás Maduro to release political prisoners, return full powers to the National Assembly and set a timetable to hold regional elections that Venezuela has indefinitely postponed, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.
. . .
The countries expected to sign the letter are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the U.S. Countries that have refused to sign are Venezuela’s closest allies, including Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
This long-overdue step is a marked departure from the Obama administration’s policy.
As you may recall, Pres. Trump met with Venezuelan dissident Lilian Tintori, who is married to political prisoner Leopoldo López, last month in the White House.
Venezuela should allow Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner & husband of @liliantintori (just met w/ @marcorubio) out of prison immediately. pic.twitter.com/bt8Xhdo7al
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
the U.S. Treasury Department, following a lengthy investigation, announced that it had identified Maduro’s vice president, Tareck El-Aissami, as a drug kingpin, freezing his assets and barring U.S. entities from engaging in transactions with him.
The new diplomatic approach is not limited to relations with Venezuela; The WSJ also points out (emphasis added),
The diplomatic effort to encourage change in Venezuela has allowed Mexico to work closely with the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on an issue that isn’t related to trade, immigration or a border wall. “It’s not the motivation, but it helps having a common cause,” Mr. Videgaray said.
U.S.-Mexico relations are not as hostile as the propaganda media in both countries would have you believe.
As you may recall, two weeks ago I pointed out that the Trump administration has close enough relations with Mexico’s Foreign Secretary that Videgaray can meet with them directly by simply calling Secretary of State Tillerson the night before.
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
Trending at BadBlue.