JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Venezuela where Trump finally stands up to Putin?” – Washington Post/ Fareed Zakaria

Venezuela Map, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… [the] Trump … administration has made absolutely clear that the United States no longer considers … Maduro to be [Venezuela’s] president, publicly backing Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as … interim leader. … go[ing] so far as to urge the Venezuelan military not to follow Maduro’s orders. … declarations … much stronger than the ‘red line’ … Obama drew around Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. … Venezuela is a complicated, divided country …. [S]ignificant in bolstering the regime has been Russia’s open and substantial support. … Two Russian military planes arrived in the country last weekend, carrying about 100 troops. … the latest in a series of moves by Moscow to shore up Maduro. … Russia has provided wheat, arms, credit and cash …. Estimates of Russia’s total investment in Venezuela vary from $20 billion to $25 billion. Russia now controls almost half of the country’s U.S.-based oil subsidiary, Citgo … a major source of government revenue. The Venezuelan military uses Russian equipment almost exclusively. …”

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Venezuela Map, adapted from image at cia.gov