Skip to main content
The Cold War Over Venezuela
Venezuelan leader Juan Guaidó at President Trump’s State of the Union address, Feb. 4
mandel ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The Cold War Over Venezuela

Walter Russell Mead

There weren’t many bipartisan moments in last week’s State of the Union address. Most Democratic legislators sat on their hands as President Trump hailed overall rising wages as well as record low unemployment for African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics. But in a move that testifies to the humanitarian and geopolitical concerns Venezuela presents, Democrats and Republicans rose together to applaud Juan Guaidó, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who is recognized as the country’s legitimate ruler by nearly 60 nations including the U.S.

Days after U.S. legislators applauded Mr. Guaidó, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was in Caracas, offering aid and comfort to the beleaguered government of Nicolás Maduro. The message seemed clear: Russia is prepared to stand up to the U.S., even in the Western Hemisphere, to protect its Venezuelan allies.

For the Trump administration’s foreign policy, the tangle with Russia over Venezuela is a local problem with global consequences. When I interviewed him recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo identified a short list of administration priorities for 2020. Real progress toward change in Venezuela and an improved relationship with Russia are both high on the list. With both Russiagate and Ukrainegate in the rearview mirror, it would appear that the administration has a new freedom to reach out diplomatically to the Kremlin—but that hardly comports with the rock-star treatment given to Mr. Guaidó in Washington last week.

Read the full article in Wall Street Journal

Related Articles

Making a Killing | Ep. 33: Defending Ukraine and Punishing Putin with Peter Rough

Peter Rough et al.

Hudson senior fellow Peter Rough joins Paul Massaro and Nate Sibley to discuss US policy options for deterring further Russian aggression against Ukra...

Continue Reading

How The United States Needs To Start Deterring China From Taking Over Taiwan

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs

Deterring Chinese aggression against Taiwan is realistic and must be the commitment of any U.S. leader who refuses to accept American decline. America...

Continue Reading

Biden’s Inviting Putin To Invade Ukraine — He Needs To Fortify It Instead

Peter Rough

Since revealing a major Russian military buildup on the borders of Ukraine, the Biden administration has launched a flurry of diplomatic initiatives, ...

Continue Reading