Experts: U.S. Needs Latin America for Pressure on Venezuela to Work
EXCERPT: NBC NEWS
The daily unraveling of Venezuela is increasing pressure on the U.S. to toughen its response beyond sanctions.
Experts say there still are steps the U.S. can take on its own, but ultimately its best hope lays in rallying with other countries to take action and working with Latin American and Caribbean countries. Its greatest leverage may also mean suspending imports of Venezuelan crude oil and sales to Venezuela of light crude, they said.
That puts the Trump administration squarely in need of good partnerships with Latin America, including Mexico and potentially Cuba.
Trump doesn’t necessarily have the best relationship with Latin American countries,” said Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Monaldi said sanctions many times don't work and the Trump administration has said it's not in the business of bringing about regime change.
"What that means is what you want is the other forces, the military, to do something because Mr. Maduro will not negotiate getting out of power because of sanctions," he said.
While the U.S. has been able to impose sanctions on individuals, going forward it will need more and more pressure exerted from the international community, the experts said.
Last week, the U.S. joined other countries in declaring that it does not recognize the constituent assembly tasked with rewriting Venezuela’s constitution following the Maduro-organized election that put the assembly in place.