If the Bolivarians aren’t removed by Venezuelans, and hopefully legitimately and not Ceaucescu style then it will only empower their cause


You’re making a sequence error. What’s happened is that 1) some guy declared himself President, then 2) the US almost immediately recognized the guy as President, then 3) Maduro ordered US diplomats out.

The speed of (2) makes lots of people here think the US is behind Guaido’s declaration.


That’s what nations do though.

Two factions claim to be the government, you recognize one of them generally.


Point to another example where the US un-recognized an existing government in favor of a self-declared ‘new government’ with no more democratic legitimacy than the existing one. I’m guessing it’s damned rare. Maduro almost certainly got more votes for President than Guaido did. Hell, Maduro got more votes for President than Guaido did for his seat on the back bench.


I mean, it’s Trump so it’s a fuck up.

I’m just saying it’s not completely insane. We recognized Taiwan as China for decades even though it obviously wasn’t based in reality.

Two of the most recent cases took place in the midst of a civil war. In 2011, the United States recognized the National Transitional Council in Libya as the legitimate government, even though forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi were still in charge of much of the country. A similar situation took place in 2014, when Syrian opposition groups were granted diplomatic representation in the United States.


This is not normal.


Yglesias nails it.


Never mind trump and Pompeo, did you read the link Timex posted?

In a joint statement issued later on Tuesday, the foreign ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru said they recognize and give their full support to Guaido.

I don’t see how this is a US backed coup, or a coup at all since Maduro didn’t win any kind of legitimate election.



The US recognized Guaido literally minutes after he declared himself President. I don’t believe that happened without any prior coordination, do you?

Which election for President did Guaido win?


This, pretty much. Anyone backing Maduro at this point has either not been following the story or is maybe a fan of sham elections or dictatorships, and doesn’t really deserve a hearing for their drivel.


He declared himself interim president and called for elections.


Who here is backing Maduro?


I’m familiar with your body of work here, so this and my previous quotation constitute the limits of my engagement with you, and that’s about all I can say without making it personal.


It can be true both that Maduro is a bad actor and that it’s a bad idea for the US to engineer or back an undemocratic coup against him. The world is a complicated place.


I mean, what’s Guaido going to do? Turn Venezuela into a starving, destitute hellhole where protestors are routinely shot and a meaningful percentage of the population flees to neighboring countries? Contra Yglesias, I don’t think the backing of the US (or the OAS, really–pretty much the entire continent is on board) can make things much worse than they are already.

I’m not an American lawyer, much less a Venezuelan one, but as far as I’m aware, Guaido (an elected legislator) has more claim to a democratic mandate than Maduro, and is behaving in a manner consistent with Venezuelan law. If you have evidence to say otherwise, I’m open to hear it.


It can be true both that Guaido is a good actor and that it’s a bad idea for the US to back an undemocratic coup to support him. My concern here is with US meddling in Latin America, which has a terrible track record. That said, I haven’t read anyone who claims that what Guaido has done — declaring himself President unilaterally — is supported by the Venezuelan constitution. I’d be happy to read about that if you can point it out.


I’ll see if I can find the story again when I get into the office. There’s understandably a lot of Venezuela in my browser history right now.


Fair enough, thanks!


I saw that blurb about the constitution yesterday as well, but I didn’t see anything in my first Google result. That’s about how much time I want to invest in Venezuela.

It’s refreshing to hear neighboring countries are taking a stand. The US shouldn’t do anything.


With Maduro’s election widely recognized as a sham, I think any concerns of “undemocraticness” should at least start there, or with the Maduro-controlled Supreme Court smash and grab of congressional powers in 2017? As for the chances of a “coup”, as long as Maduro retains control of the Army I’d think they’re pretty slim.