Thursday, February 09, 2017

Congressional Letter About Venezuela

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen authored a letter with Bob Menendez and co-signed by 32 other members of Congress, split between the two parties. It asks the Trump administration to take action against the Venezuelan government and thereby send a signal to "bad actors" (how's that for a cringe-worthy phrase?).

Given the authors, I was a bit surprised by how mild it seemed. Get some more funds for NGOs, do targeted sanctions against Venezuelan officials proven to be involved in corruption, make sure there are no Odebrecht-related problems for U.S. businesses, and investigate Tareck El Aissami. In short, pretty much a continuation of what President Obama had already been doing. Notably absent are any broader economic sanctions, vague calls to be tough or, in fact, even any criticism of the Obama administration's own policies.

Trump, who cares very little about Venezuela, can just renew Obama's original policies, call them his own, and declare victory.


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