A Plan to Steady Venezuela Falls Apart, Again

Sep 13, 2017 | 11:31 GMT

Negotiations to create the conditions that would allow President Nicolas Maduro to step down have stalled yet again.

Negotiations continue to find a way to end Venezuela's political crisis by ushering President Nicolas Maduro from power.



  • Negotiators from the Vatican apparently tried to enlist Cuba's help in granting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro the option of asylum, but Havana rejected the offer. The asylum offer seems to be part of a broader negotiation aimed at breaking the political impasse between Venezuela's government and its opposition.
  • Cuba's government is likely reluctant to grant Maduro asylum because his departure could threaten its supply of subsidized oil from Venezuela.
  • A plan being developed by the Mexican government to send oil shipments to Cuba could help revive discussions of asylum for Maduro. With a more secure source of oil and fuel, Havana would be less reluctant to accept a Maduro asylum request.

Political stability in Venezuela will not come easily amid the chaos created by its economic freefall and the growing risk of dissident military challenges to the national government. Nevertheless, the governments in Washington, Moscow and elsewhere continue to work, both officially and behind the scenes, to press for an end to the crisis, although their motives do not necessarily line up. The United States would like to steer Venezuela back toward holding free and fair elections and reduce the risk of mass migration from the country. Russia would like to make sure its energy investments in Venezuela remain safe. China, for its part, is trying to safeguard not only its energy investments but also continued repayments for the extensive loans it has made over the past decade to Caracas. Cuba, which has been the beneficiary of a flow of low-cost oil and fuel from Venezuela, would like to keep that...

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