Last Wednesday, when hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took the streets to back the opposition’s risky bid to return the country to democracy, the Trump administration was first in line to offer support.
Just moments after opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s Legislature, declared himself interim president, urging strongman Nicolás Maduro to step down, the Trump administration recognized Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader.
For many Americans with more knowledge of Donald Trump than of Venezuela, the initial reaction, understandably, was to doubt the wisdom of Washington’s position. But very quickly other democracies in Latin America and elsewhere in the world joined in backing Guaidó, suggesting that perhaps this time Trump got it right.
In the U.S., top Democratic leaders generally supported Trump’s approach, calling for a restoration of democracy in a country where the Maduro regime has steadily been dismantled, creating unspeakable hardship for the population through corruption and mismanagement and turning one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America into a wasteland of hunger, scarcity and crime.