US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams maintained that the regime change project in Caracas was still on track, with even more sanctions sure to persuade Venezuelans into backing the US-chosen opposition leader any day now.
Speaking to reporters at the State Department on Friday, Abrams tried to put the best face on the ongoing failure of Washington to replace the “regime” of President Nicolas Maduro with the “democracy” of self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaido. Abrams went so far as to blame Maduro for Thursday’s power blackouts, which the Venezuelan government said were a result of US sabotage.
Special Rep Abrams: The nationwide power outages throughout #Venezuela are a reminder the country’s once-sophisticated infrastructure has been plundered, allowed to decay under Maduro’s misrule. As @SecPompeo tweeted: Maduro’s policies bring nothing but darkness. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/GIVdsgqOa4
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 8, 2019
He maintained that most Venezuelans, as well as the majority of the country’s military, were unhappy with Maduro, but could not answer why only a handful of soldiers have switched sides to back Guaido.
It doesn’t look like it’s happening until the day it begins to happen.
Instead, Abrams offered wishful thinking, hoping the soldiers “follow their own constitution” that Maduro was supposedly violating.
Asked about a letter sent by 16 House Democrats – including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard – expressing concern about US sanctions and violent threats, Abrams said the sanctions were meant to be temporary.
“The purpose is to motivate people to change their behavior,” he said. “It’s not just a punishment, we hope it’s also an inducement to change pattern of behavior.”'
Read more: Venezuela sanctions intended ‘to motivate people to change’ & Guaido ‘not a puppet’ – Abrams