David Smilde on CNN Español: Why Maduro Wants to Meet with Trump

On September 27,  David Smilde spoke on CNN Español in the wake of this week’s news that U.S. President Donald Trump would be willing to meet with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. As Smilde notes, Maduro’s eagerness to meet with Trump is not a new policy, but rather a longstanding effort by the Venezuelan government to “internationalize” the crisis within the country and pin the blame for its economic tailspin on the shoulders of the United States. Smilde also points out that military intervention in Venezuela would be costly and bloody, and could very well lead to the kind of destabilization seen in Somalia, Iraq, and Libya.  He further notes that the rhetoric of a U.S. “military option” has a paralyzing effect on the Venezuelan opposition, and should be replaced by a strategy that pairs further diplomatic pressure with strategic engagement in search of a political pact.