Maduro the Survivor: Why Washington Must Play the Long Game in Venezuela.
Four years ago, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confidently proclaimed that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s “days are numbered.” Indeed, when his predecessor, the strongman Hugo Chávez, died in 2013, many in the United States and among the Venezuelan opposition believed that Maduro’s presidency would be short-lived. After all, Chávez was a charismatic leader who had concentrated nearly all power since his ascent in 1999, exercised personal control over the country’s institutions, and oversaw the distribution of vast resources acquired through an oil boom. Maduro, in contrast, commanded less public loyalty, had limited oratorical skills, and had inherited a crumbling economy. Viewed by many as a weak substitute for Chávez without any of his mentor’s political talents, Maduro was often derided as “the bus driver,” a reference to his years spent driving a coach in Caracas. Read the full article here.