Venezuela's Maduro looking for a way out?

'Tis the season for calling it quits for ruinous socialist dictators, as the exit of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe this year and the promised goodbye of Cuba's Raul Castro next year suggest. Now a report is circulating that Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro wants out, too.

According to a detailed story from the Miami Herald:

A Venezuelan millionaire declared persona non grata by the City of Miami for his alleged ties to the Maduro regime is trying to broker an exit strategy with the Trump administration for his beleaguered government, according to various Washington sources.

Raúl Gorrín, criticized for the controversial purchase in 2013 of the then pro-opposition news channel Globovisión, has paid Ballard Partners — the firm of President Donald Trump’s former Florida lobbyist — $450,000 since June through the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan TV network, ostensibly to help the company expand into U.S. markets.

But Gorrín’s real ambitions appear to extend far beyond the TV network. According to three sources familiar with his lobbying efforts in Washington — all of whom declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak on the matter — the media mogul is trying to establish himself as a broker between Caracas and the Trump administration, peddling the idea that President Nicolás Maduro and other key government leaders might be willing to negotiate a transition in Venezuela in exchange for amnesty.

Anyone hearing this ought to gag.
So after ruining his country with Cuban-style socialism, Maduro would like to come to the states he has hated all his life and retire to a comfortable exile with all his ill-gotten billions, utterly consequence-free? While the country he left behind still starves?
Not gonna work, pal.
Maduro, who is riding a tiger of 2,000-percent plus hyperinflation, a collapsing oil industry. an expropriated and bankrupted private sector, a population suffering mass starvation with 30% of Venezuela's schoolchildren malnourished, the world's highest crime rate, crumbling infrastructure, African-dictator-level corruption and other horriible realities, can fix this situation any time he likes, by scrapping socialism. He can end price controls, bring in the International Monetary Fund, allow foreign aid in, privatize Venezuela's oil industry, return the stolen property to Venezuela's private sector, kick out the Cubans, and bust the Boligarchs, people who have profiteered on Venezuela's socialist regime. That's his one job and he refuses to do it or let anyone else do it for him for that matter, without a comfortable retirement in the states in it for him.
The other way he can and should be dealing with this is to take it to his patrons in Cuba. Why aren't these conversations being held in Havana instead of Washington? Seems life in the socialist paradise he has touted all his life isn't something he'd really want for himself, though he was happy to impose it on Venezuelans. Or, he suspects that change is coming to Cuba, too, and it won't be a comfortable retirement for Raul Castro after his announced retirement in April, either. In any case, calls to the states about taking Maduro in should be redirected to Havana.
It's hard to consider but one can see the plus side of getting Maduro out of there at any cost: Thousands of Venezuelans are starving and it breaks your heart, given that it's a man-caused famine that can be fixed so easily.
But letting him off with amnesty and a comfortable exile isn't going to help Venezuela recover. Can you imagine the bitter resentment of the country's people, left to the hard task of rebuilding, and still taking losses as news reports get out about Maduro partying in style in Miami? And is Maduro, a socialist ideologue, really going to stay in exile or will he and his associates use it as a comfortable place to plot a comeback? The idea just plain stinks.
Dictator amnesties were floated around during Saddam's and Gadhafi's last days and nothing ever came of them. The same will likely happen with Maduro. President Trump, to his great credit, has refuse to take Maduro's phone calls until he restores Venezuela's democracy. That demand should still stand as Maduro goes sniffing around through this millionaire for an easy way out.



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