Despite feeling lost and confused by all the sensational news and unsubstantiated information every day, I have noticed that in the recent development of the situation in Venezuela, rumors do not seem to play too big of a role. Are people now turning to mainstream media for good-faith journalism? Are they more inclined to trust information from easily verifiable official sources?
But sensational commentaries still have a lot of influence. These commentaries could trigger an adrenaline rush and bring excitement to the audience, radicalizing their views. Fortunately, decision-makers base their actions on rational deliberation and are not usually tempted by sensational clap-traps.
全世界虽然有50多个国家已经承认瓜伊多，但还有150个左右还没有承认。委内瑞拉局势涉及多角色互动，未来变数多多。瓜伊多能够鼓动的民意力量还不够强大。马杜多执政多年，有很多收买人心、凝聚力量的资源，但是也应有很多政敌，瓜伊多为何还未能分化马杜罗阵营？ 我对瓜伊多能否统筹全局有所担心，即使他最后真正掌握了权力，委内瑞拉烂局难以清理。瓜伊多可以领导委内瑞拉回到正常民主法治轨道吗？ 从表面看，马杜罗并没有对瓜伊多下毒手，而是希望通过法律程序来瓦解瓜伊多。委内瑞拉在民主机制下选出了独裁者，法律当然也可以被操控。
Although more than 50 countries in the world have given the nod to Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, there are still about 150 countries that haven’t officially recognized Guaido as legitimate head of the state. The situation in Venezuela involves multifaceted interactions and is still very much in flux. Guaido has called for massive rallies to demand Maduro’s ouster. But is his public backing strong enough? Maduro has been in power for many years and can command all his resources to gather strength and win over people’s support. But Maduro should also have accumulated many political enemies by now. Why hasn’t Guaido been able to disintegrate Maduro camp from within? I wonder if Guaido has the political craftsmanship required to take control of the current situation. Even if he finally comes into power, it will be challenging for him to clean up Venezuela’s other messes. Can Guaido lead Venezuela back to normalcy, that is, a well-functioning democratic society governed by the rule of law? On the surface, Maduro hasn’t call for Guaido’s arrest. But Venezuela’s Supreme Court has already imposed a travel ban and a bank account freeze on Guaido, after approving a request from the chief state prosecutor for a preliminary investigation into his actions. But note that Venezuela has elected a dictator under a sham election. The legal and judicial system can of course be manipulated.
Will the United States send troops to Venezuela? There are two precedents: Haiti and Cuba. Although the Monroe Doctrine effectively prevented the European forces from South America, the economic and political prosperity of the United States and the quality of its democracy did not extend to South America. The US ultimately did not "Americanize" South America.
We vividly remember the victory of Operation Desert Storm, the contribution of the United States in the Pacific War and the European battlefield. However, we tend to neglect many of the United States’ half-baked diplomatic and military actions, including but not limited to Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam, and so on.
代理国防部长亲赴阿富汗，要结束这场战争。但阿富汗未来发展会如何？以美国的全球投射力、自由民主价值的感召力，为什么无法解决这些问题？ 昨天《华尔街日报》报道称中国政府与瓜伊多谈判，为了几百亿债务。这点我之前讲到：中国担心的是几百亿债务打水漂，支持马杜罗比较含糊。 这点与俄罗斯不同，后者与委内瑞拉关系带有地缘政治色彩。而中国对委内瑞拉没有政治掌握能力，这与中国的外交战略有关。金钱收买、投资是中国外交的主要生态。中国政府是否真的没有秘密与瓜伊多在华盛顿代表进行了接触？接触当然是可能的。
On Monday, Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan met with Afghan leaders in Kabul to make an intensified diplomatic push to end the prolonged war. But what about the future development of Afghanistan? With the global influence of the United States and the everlasting appeal of free and democratic values, why can't we solve these problems?
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government negotiated with Guaido on how to get its money back. I will repeat what I have said before: China is worried about its tens of billions of debt, and its top priority is to make sure the new leadership, be it Maduro or Guaido, will make good on its debt promise. This is why China has taken a more nuanced stance in picking sides. China’s strategy in the region is mostly mercantile —— an oil-for-cash swap. Russia, on the other hand, has strong geopolitical interests in Venezuela and views the South American country as its foothold in the backyard of the United States. Did Beijing secretly meet up with Guaido’s representatives in Washington? Some form of contact is of course possible.