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Venezuela Crisis: SDN / SSI PDVSA, then negotiate

Further to previous article about the kind of solution that could realistically be put in place to deal with Venezuela's crisis, perhaps it's worth expanding on strategy. Lots of people are thinking drones, or military invasions are the only way. But before the first Hellfire drops, OFAC should SDN / SSI PDVSA, and every subsidiary, including CITGO. Assets in the Caribbean and Nynas could be added for good measure. Then, those lists of officials, defectors, enablers, collaborators, and proxies that keep making the rounds in intelligence circles, but never see the light of day, should also be included in global sanctions. This won't cripple chavismo only, but the opposition too.

OFAC actions should be underpinned also by the Justice Department, which should appoint an inter-agency task force to pay "courtesy" visits to Michael Lauber, Nicole Belloubet, Alfons Alberca, Alfonso Bonafede, Maria Jose Segarra, Joana Marques Vidal, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Geoffrey Cox. This to get information about ongoing investigations in respective jurisdictions -involving massive Venezuelan corruption- and expedite prosecutions in the U.S.

A team of Kissinger-like negotiators should then be sent on a LatAm tour, to condition any and all future U.S. assistance / aid on full support with the task at hand. Secretary Pompeo should visit Putin and Jinping, if not to gain their acquiescence just so they can hear it from the horse's mouth. Caracas should be the last stop, right after Havana, to have facetime with Maduro, Cilia, Pavel & Gori, Diosdado et al to hammer details of relinquishing power to a transitional administration, electoral guarantees, and so on.

If getting sanctions going prior to visits proves politically protracted in DC, Treasury could well announce sanctions are to start on a certain date in the very near future to pile on the pressure. The above could certainly spare lives, time, money and hardship to all involved.


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