The Trump Administration’s year-long efforts to dislodge authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba have so far failed. That’s raised frustrations among South Florida’s exiles. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Miami on Thursday to address their anxieties.
Secretary of State Pompeo came to Florida at the invitation of Governor Ron DeSantis to discuss where things stand on the United States' Latin America policy - particularly in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, the leftist regimes the Trump Administration calls “the troika of tyranny.”
DeSantis and Pompeo met in Miami with Venezuelan exiles for a private talk on the U.S.’s stalled campaign to oust dictatorial Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. That effort started a year ago this week when opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s president – with the suport of the U.S. and more than 50 other countries.
The U.S. has since levied a raft of heavy economic sanctions against the Venezuelan regime. But a year later Maduro is still firmly entrenched in power, thanks to the support of his military chiefs.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Pompeo said “time is short” for Maduro to agree to a new and freer presidential election – which polls suggest he’d lose. But Pompeo didn’t say exactly what that time frame is and what the U.S.’s next move would be if Maduro ultimately refuses to budge.
President Trump was counting on successes in Latin America to shore up his Latino vote in Florida.