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Trump should stay out of Venezuela

What others say

Trump should stay out of Venezuela

President Maduro needs to go, but an American-backed
coup is not the answer. America shouldn’t be in the
coup business, warns the Editorial commentator of
The New York Times .
It’s a relief, then, to learn that the Trump
administration chose not to aid rebellious leaders in
Venezuela seeking to overthrow President Nicolás
Maduro. But it’s worrisome to think that President
Trump and his advisers made the right call for the
wrong reason — lack of confidence in the plotters to
succeed in a risky operation rather than principled
concern about intervention.
There’s no doubt Mr. Maduro is an illegitimately
elected leader driving his country to a catastrophic
political, economic and societal meltdown. American
officials discussed the possibility of helping
overthrow Mr. Maduro in three meetings over the last
year with rebellious leaders, who had initiated the
contact. Given the turmoil in Venezuela, it is not
unreasonable for American diplomats to meet with all
factions, including mutinous military officers, to
learn their thinking. But holding multiple meetings
with the plotters begins to look like collaboration.
The news was bound to leak out, as it has.
Yet, if Mr. Trump is in fact tempted to intervene, or
act militarily — as past comments suggest — he should
contemplate the sorrowful history of American
intervention in Latin America and its more recent
history of trying to interfere elsewhere to depose
dictators and install democracies.
Here’s the right way to put pressure on Venezuela’s
regime: Mr. Trump and other leaders need to keep
trying to encourage a transition deal by tightening
targeted sanctions on Mr. Maduro and his cronies who
undergird an autocratic, corrupt system. Cuba, which
is dependent on Venezuela for oil and has close
relations with Mr. Maduro, should be encouraged to
use its leverage. Mr. Trump and other leaders also
need to coordinate and expand assistance for
Venezuela’s suffering people.
—The New York Times

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