How Trump is turning around the failing efforts to oust Maduro

Venezuela is a campaign, not a battle.  Keeping momentum for change in Venezuela is critical, as the corrupt failure of socialism with a totalitarian regime ruling at the point of a gun has not yet resulted in collapse.

NSC director Bolton, secretary of state Pompeo, and Special Counsel Abrams simply got it wrong when they war-gamed regime change through their previous life experiences.  The call for the installation of acting president Juan Guaidó by the removal of the rigged strongman President Maduro by instigating very brave street demonstrations along with some type of information war strategy fizzled badly.

The problem became readily apparent when they did not have a good "Plan B," that is until President Trump turned a near-term tactical setback into a huge strategic win.

America has in President Trump a leader who truly lives "The Art of the Deal" and has just personally engaged with Russia to guide Maduro out and acting president Guaidó fully in with a minimum loss of life.  In many situations, beyond Venezuela, he is what is known in the military as his own best "action officer" — which is the person who gets it done.

It appears that the president's team in the early failed aggressive saber-rattling underappreciated that they had a president who just showed them how it can be done peacefully.  What his team apparently never grasped is they had a president who is the best information war warrior in the world today, combined with a masterful one-on-one art of the deal negotiator.

As the Guaidó forces on the streets of Venezuela were losing the tactical battle, a strategic defeat was rapidly approaching, that is until the president made an historic phone call to President Putin.  That call accomplished a most important objective: President Trump personally built new strategic maneuvering space, and President Putin agreed:

"He (Putin) is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela," Trump said in the Oval Office. "And I feel the same way."

There are two important takeaways from this current Moscow Times article, which is a public stalking horse for President Putin:

Putin Is Ready to Give Up Venezuela for the Right Price

Sergei Lavrov and Mike Pompeo will soon meet in Helsinki to discuss Venezuela's future.

But, as common in his personal interactions with Putin, Trump quickly lost the initiative, allowing the discussion on Venezuela to drift towards the softer subject of humanitarian aid.

Moscow is ready to sell its stake in Maduro, but it is still unclear whether Washington is ready to offer the right price.

Taking the latter point first, it is simply the Russian version of "The Art of the Deal" in the opening round of "what can we get."


Trump and Putin at Hamburg Summit in 2017 (Kremlin photo).

However, the first point about President Trump losing the initiative with the "softer subject of humanitarian aid" actually means that President Trump has won the terms of the engagement.

It is simple: both President Trump and President Putin know that Juan Guaidó is the current president of Venezuela because his legitimacy  was not in question during the phone call.  The proof of that reality is that President Putin allowed this quote in his hometown paper to appear in print:

Putin expressed Russia's displeasure with U.S interference in Venezuela while convincing Trump that he "was not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela".

In "diplo-speak," that means that Maduro's days are numbered simply because both the U.S. and Russia have agreed that humanitarian aid is approved.

Focusing on humanitarian aid is actually the key point for a nation literally starving with arguably the richest oil reserves in the world.  The Maduro administration bungled the great wealth of Venezuela while also disarming the population.

It actually took President Trump to not only build strategic maneuvering space, but also keep the focus on solving the human suffering side of the engagement, and this is now the publicly agreed upon (by Putin!) agenda of the way ahead.

Thomas Lifson adds:

I am pretty sure Putin wants Trump to agree to concessions on the Baltics, Georgia, and Ukraine, which Putin clearly regards as his sphere of interest as former Soviet republics.  This is very tricky geostrategic bargaining.

Venezuela is a campaign, not a battle.  Keeping momentum for change in Venezuela is critical, as the corrupt failure of socialism with a totalitarian regime ruling at the point of a gun has not yet resulted in collapse.

NSC director Bolton, secretary of state Pompeo, and Special Counsel Abrams simply got it wrong when they war-gamed regime change through their previous life experiences.  The call for the installation of acting president Juan Guaidó by the removal of the rigged strongman President Maduro by instigating very brave street demonstrations along with some type of information war strategy fizzled badly.

The problem became readily apparent when they did not have a good "Plan B," that is until President Trump turned a near-term tactical setback into a huge strategic win.

America has in President Trump a leader who truly lives "The Art of the Deal" and has just personally engaged with Russia to guide Maduro out and acting president Guaidó fully in with a minimum loss of life.  In many situations, beyond Venezuela, he is what is known in the military as his own best "action officer" — which is the person who gets it done.

It appears that the president's team in the early failed aggressive saber-rattling underappreciated that they had a president who just showed them how it can be done peacefully.  What his team apparently never grasped is they had a president who is the best information war warrior in the world today, combined with a masterful one-on-one art of the deal negotiator.

As the Guaidó forces on the streets of Venezuela were losing the tactical battle, a strategic defeat was rapidly approaching, that is until the president made an historic phone call to President Putin.  That call accomplished a most important objective: President Trump personally built new strategic maneuvering space, and President Putin agreed:

"He (Putin) is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela," Trump said in the Oval Office. "And I feel the same way."

There are two important takeaways from this current Moscow Times article, which is a public stalking horse for President Putin:

Putin Is Ready to Give Up Venezuela for the Right Price

Sergei Lavrov and Mike Pompeo will soon meet in Helsinki to discuss Venezuela's future.

But, as common in his personal interactions with Putin, Trump quickly lost the initiative, allowing the discussion on Venezuela to drift towards the softer subject of humanitarian aid.

Moscow is ready to sell its stake in Maduro, but it is still unclear whether Washington is ready to offer the right price.

Taking the latter point first, it is simply the Russian version of "The Art of the Deal" in the opening round of "what can we get."


Trump and Putin at Hamburg Summit in 2017 (Kremlin photo).

However, the first point about President Trump losing the initiative with the "softer subject of humanitarian aid" actually means that President Trump has won the terms of the engagement.

It is simple: both President Trump and President Putin know that Juan Guaidó is the current president of Venezuela because his legitimacy  was not in question during the phone call.  The proof of that reality is that President Putin allowed this quote in his hometown paper to appear in print:

Putin expressed Russia's displeasure with U.S interference in Venezuela while convincing Trump that he "was not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela".

In "diplo-speak," that means that Maduro's days are numbered simply because both the U.S. and Russia have agreed that humanitarian aid is approved.

Focusing on humanitarian aid is actually the key point for a nation literally starving with arguably the richest oil reserves in the world.  The Maduro administration bungled the great wealth of Venezuela while also disarming the population.

It actually took President Trump to not only build strategic maneuvering space, but also keep the focus on solving the human suffering side of the engagement, and this is now the publicly agreed upon (by Putin!) agenda of the way ahead.

Thomas Lifson adds:

I am pretty sure Putin wants Trump to agree to concessions on the Baltics, Georgia, and Ukraine, which Putin clearly regards as his sphere of interest as former Soviet republics.  This is very tricky geostrategic bargaining.