In the effort to topple Nicolás Maduro, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States once told me, the military men propping up Venezuela’s authoritarian president are like chess pieces.
If they defect from the regime, “you lose that chess piece,” Francisco Santos explained. “They work better from the inside.”
As Tuesday, April 30, began, the United States and its allies thought they finally had checkmate, after months of building up the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president and recruiting more than 50 nations to their cause.
By the end of the day, the board had been flipped upside down, pieces were scattered everywhere, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on CNN blaming the kingmakers, Russia and Cuba, for sabotaging the game. [Continue reading…]