News

World

Pompeo: U.S. ‘Fully Supports’ Venezuelan Opposition’s Move to Topple Maduro

Opposition demonstrators throw rocks near the Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda Airbase “La Carlota” in Caracas, Venezuela, April 30, 2019. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the U.S. supports Operation Liberty, a new movement by Venezuela’s civilian opposition to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.

“Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad,” Pompeo wrote in a tweet. “The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated.”

Guaidó, the opposition leader whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela’s rightful head of state, was joined by recently released activist Leopoldo Lopez as they called on citizens in a video message to take to the streets to “consolidate the end of usurpation.”

“At this moment, I am with the main military units of our armed forces, starting the final phase of Operation Liberty. People of Venezuela, we will go to the street with the armed forces to continue taking the streets until we consolidate the end of usurpation, which is already irreversible,” Guaidó said in the video.

“Operation Freedom has begun!” Guaidó told a crowd of supporters. “We’re going to stand here together asking and demanding the military to join.”

Melees broke out in Caracas after Guaidó’s call to action, and shots were heard as crowds of citizens carrying Venezuelan flags assembled outside the La Carlota air-force base near the city. There were reports of gunfire exchanges between the soldiers backing Guaidó and troops loyal to Maduro on the military base.

“Venezuelans have made clear that the current path toward democracy is irreversible,” U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton wrote in a tweet. “Venezuela’s military has a choice: embrace democracy, protect civilians and members of the democratically-elected National Assembly, or face more man-made suffering and isolation.”

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More