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Those who have bothered to read SOUTHCOM's comprehensive, multi-pronged plan to destabilize and ultimately topple Nicolas Maduro - a plan that, notably, ends with coalition troops on the ground - will recognize that two of the final steps involves enticing Venezuelan professionals to flee while encouraging military officials to give a coup d'etat one more try.
That appears to be what the US had in mind on Tuesday when it lifted sanctions on a Venezuelan general who broke ranks with the regime following a week of largely unsuccessful street demonstrations.
Speech - Washington - Tuesday - Vice - President
And in a speech in Washington on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce the removal of all sanctions on Gen. Manuel Cristopher Figuera, a general who warned 25 supreme court magistrates that they would be "held accountable" unless they backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, according to WSJ.
During the speech, Pence is expected to denounce Venezuela's courts as a tool of corruption, and dangle sanctions relief in front of any other senior military or government officials willing to turn on Maduro.
Speech - Today - Washington - Vice - President
In a speech later today Washington, Vice President Mike Pence will say Venezuela’s supreme court has "become a political tool for a regime that usurps democracy, indicts political prisoners, and promotes authoritarianism."
"It’s time for this body to return to its founding purpose," Mr. Pence will say, according to prepared remarks. "If the Supreme Court of Venezuela does not return to its constitutional mandate to uphold the rule of law, the United States will hold all 25 of its magistrates accountable...
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