Trump’s Shout-Out Masks a Bleak Outlook for Venezuela’s Guaidó: Op ed in the NYT

The New York Times asked me to write up my reactions to Juan Guaidó’s presence at the State of the Union address and meetings with Donald Trump last week. Here is the piece in English and in Spanish.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but Guaidó’s meetings with Trump represent a significant victory in a mistaken strategy. Here is the key paragraph.

Despite Mr. Trump’s show of support, at no time in the past year has Mr. Guaidó been in a worse position to unify the opposition around the type of political actions that have led to democratic transitions in authoritarian places as diverse as Poland, South Africa and Chile. Not only have opposition radicals with completely implausible plans been emboldened, United States economic sanctions have worsened an economic crisis and migratory exodus and thereby undermined the possibility of opposition street protests. Thus the Venezuela conflict seems destined to be a repeat of the long-term standoff over Cuba that for over 50 years has provided a solid base for South Florida electoral mobilization but has done little for democracy and human rights in Cuba itself.

Here is a follow-up article in El Pais that looks at Russian support for Venezuela, and an opinion piece by Michael Shifter in Clarín that I see working in the same direction as my piece.