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tv   Washington Journal Eric Farnsworth  CSPAN  May 3, 2019 1:07pm-1:31pm EDT

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of abraham lincoln. >> riding through the woods he met a lady on horseback, he waited for her to pass but instead she stopped an scrutinized him before saying, well, for land sake you are the holliest man i ever saw. >> yes, madame, but i can't help it. no, i suppose not, the lady, well, you might stay at home. >> this weekend on c-span3. [laughter] >> sunday night on q&a lincoln scholar and best selling author will share perspectives on c-span's new books, the presidents, best and worst chief executives, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span q&a. >> this is eric, the vice
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president of council of the americas to join about thet current unrest of venezuela. >> thanks for having me. >> we got here step by step, where we are now is a place that seems to be violent and probably getting worse by the day but the immediate circumstances were a fraudulent election from a year ago which led to the quote, unquote, reelection of nicolás maduro and election that was not recognized by the united states to international community. the interim president, juan guiado, he's been recognized by the united states, he's been recognized by over 50 member it was international community and now there's a political whether to see juan guiado will take over venezuela constitution. >> you saw guiado go to twitter, talk about intentions, what's part of strategy going forward?
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>> guest: continue to push pressure on the maduro regime to cause the military which maintain it is balance of power in venezuela to switch sides, it's as simple as that, to this point, maduro has been able to stay in office because he has the loyalty whether by fear or ideology or some other reasons,y he remains control of military, if you can get a quorum of the o military to switch sides, mr. maduro may see it in best interest to leave the country and that's ultimately what the strategy is for guiado. >> what's the likelihood of that happening? >> guest: good question, the likelihood is uncertain. i mean, we saw the activities of april 30th and may first, earlier this week which was intended to create certainly circumstances, mr. maduro, if you can believe what the secretary of state said was on an airplane getting ready to depart for cuba when russians pulled him back and seemed to
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have been pretty close. having said that, he's in venezuela, guiado is calling for popular protests to continue, meanwhile the humanitarian crisis in venezuela continue to pace and show nos sign of abating. situation that seems to be a stalemate at this point neither to land knockout blow both continue to punch. >> host: as far as u.s. policy, those asking why, why should we care, why should the u.s. care about the situation, what would you say? >> guest: it's a very good question, two fundamentals reasons, one it's the worst humanitarian crisis in the western hemisphere in modern area and man-made and caused by the regime in venezuela and so it's affecting colombia, brazil, the rest of latin america and islands in the caribbean, humanitarian crisis and imperative to help, the second is that this is clearly an effort to restore the constitutional order in venezuela, the venezuelan government as all governments
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except cuba signed the inter-american charter in 2001. we were doing something else the horrible day, this is what the hemisphere was doing in lima, perú, remained in lima, signed the document, that committed the countries including venezuela to democratic path, t that's been disrupted, it's effort by the international community to help restore democracy. >> eric farnsworth to talk about what is going on in venezuela, democrats, 202-7488000. you can post thoughts on twitteh feed. aside from the words that policymakers and both of the administration say about this, can we go any further in assisting? >> you know, it's really a good question and how far can we go, the short answer is yes. first, we can do more on
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humanitarian side, more than 10% of venezuela's population is outside of the country. it would help if he would allow humanitarian aid, sanctions, whether it's visa restrictions, financial restrictions, but the one thing that i think people have to be careful about is to continue the very, continue the reality that this is a venezuelan issue that need to be resolved by venezuelans and i think that the united states along side the international community and working in conjunction with the international community can be supportive of that and i think that's proper role for us to do. >> the presidents at fox news talk about this issue, some of t the statements he made, your response. >> and it's a terrible thing, people are starving, people are dying, there's no food, there's no water, it's just a terrible situation. you see what's going on and we are doing everything we can do
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short of, you know, the ultimate, there are people that would like to do -- have us do the ultimate but we are -- but we are -- we have a lot of options open but when we look at what's going on there, it's an incredible mess. >> that's for sure. i know you said this before and you say that all options are on the able, i know there's big nfc meeting today, trying to figure out what to do next, really what are our options right now, mr. president? >> well, some i don't like to mention to you because they're pretty tough, but, you know, we see what's happening with respect to the hunger, you don't see things like this anymore and they don't want food, maduro won't accept food, i think he should frankly, i think it would be better for him if he did because you have people that are starving and they'd become desperate and you see what's happening on the streets and the streets are very dangerous and
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it's very dangerous for, i mean, frankly everybody, everybody, and we haven't seen a scene like this in many, many years and when you think how wealthy this country was, trish, this country was one of the wealthiest countries not just there but this was one to have wealthy countries of the world and now you look at what's going on with -- they don't even have food, they can't get water, the water is filthy dirty and people are getting sick, it's a terrible, terrible thing. >> did he offer anything as far as what the future policy or at least the actions of the united states might be? >> continues to say that all options are on the table. i didn't hear that phrase this time but used by him and other senior advisers. the question is are all options and a long way to go before, at this point the united states and venezuela, the responsibility to
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protect probably doesn't apply at this point to venezuela, one acan have an argument about th. there's no mandate for the united states to assert thing. what you're going to continue to see is sanctions being increased more pressure on the regime, hopefully coordinated with the international community, but as you said, the situation is fairly dire, the water supplies are blackouts. there's no internet connection, whenever there's something that the government doesn't want people to see, they shut down internet connections, airways for statesmen media, really fquite a close society when the regime wants it to be. so this is a society that's in whole-scale collapse and the question is, you know, what can the venezuelans do about that and that's what people are
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discussing right now. >> host: let's take calls, first one from minnesota, independent line, jack, you're with eric, go ahead. >> good morning, gentlemen, you just had a quote lovely president trump here on venezuela, the usual bs, like the bs we are hearing from our guest, here is a quote from andrew mccabe's recent book, trump is quoted as saying, why aren't we at war with venezuela, they have all that oil and they're on our back door, that's andrew mccabe, here is another quote by amy -- about another person -- >> host: what's your question for our guest,t, sir? >> the question to you and our guest why can't we have some different voices other than people from the propaganda factories, you had on --
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>> i don't believe it is, oil is venezuela top mod economy, -- come -- >> much of the oil sent to cuba, like china and other countries, i'm glad he asked or made the statement, the united states o doesn't need to invade venezuela to have venezuelan oil, we can buy as much as we want and in fact, we have for years and years. we can get the venezuela crude in open markets venezuela
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government and so venezuela weeing eem i should say and what this means that's not to do anything in terms to have venezuela's economy.
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>> you are the council of the americas, you're the vice president, what exactly is that organization? who pays your salary? >> well, the organizations pays my salary, go to website and you'll have as much information on the organization as you care to have. >> you're on national tv right now, you could tell me but you don't want to do that, so, okay, my well my real question is this, what as the un say about a nation invading another nation without the security council, because the security council of the united nations if i'm not mistaken has said that we do not have the right to go into venezuela but we keep saying these things like all options
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are on the table, what we really mean is the united states of america invading venezuela, a free country, am i correct in that? >> host: thanks. >> guest: i wonder if the caller heard my earlier comments and i clearly stated there's no un mandate and i'm not calling for that. >> host: is there a way the u.s. could support some type of military action either providing financial support, other means like that without directly -- >> all of these things are a possibility, sure, but, again, i'm not calling for theseut things, in the abstract all kinds of tools on the table for the united states or any country llfrom that matter but in termsf the legalities and negotiations we are not there at this point. >> host: the president would need congressional approval for that? >> guest: presumably. >> host: john next from illinois, independent line, hi.
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>> caller: hi, how are you doing? hopefully you can give me a few minutes, how we are having the hearings and, you know, we have gone about this kind of thing, this regime change many times in our past, well, a few things, you know, one thing we have sisi of egypt sitting in the white house the other day, i'm not sure about maduro election, didn't seem that we were up in arms about it a year ago, does seem that with -- seems like to fix is in. we have all main media, they were down there a couple of months ago when they thought they were going down, carrie
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sanders and talking about all the starvation and then -everybody left because revolution wasrv going to happen then. in the meantime they had all the blackouts and, you know, can you tell that there's nothing that we are doing behind here, for ngcrying out loud we have abrams writing point on this, own convicted war criminal who was later pardoned. >> host: thanks, caller, we will have our guest address some of those things. >> guest: those are important points but we have to take a step back. this is the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history of the western hemisphere. i don't know how we can turn our backs on that. that doesn't mean that anybody is launching the marines into caracas. you can't go from here to there, logic, i'm suggesting this is ai humanitarian crisis that needs
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to be addressed by the international community and would be done effectively through democratic process if the process remains viable in venezuela, so there are a lot of things that are being done behind the scenes with this idea that the united states is responsible for taking down venezuela's power grid, you know, is just not accurate. it's a lack of investment, lack of serious attention to governments in venezuela over the last 20 years, that has nothing to do with the united states, that has to do with the leadership that has been in venezuela during that time. >> host: maduro has military. >> guest: it's a good question, military, security forces, a lot muauthority, he has backing of international countries, not all international countries, guiado
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o has the venezuelan constitutin on his side. you have one with the authority but no powers, behind him, one s the power but no legitimate authority at this point and that's why you're having the discussions right now. >> host: when it comes to countries backing maduro, who is on that list? >> cuba, china, russia, iran. those are the countries that support maduro at this point. >> caller: what percentage of the population supports maduro and what percentage of the population best that is and not
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referring to the military? >> guest: fair question, support is much low e than it was but still has to have support and among a certain percentage of population. i think most polls would average around 25% or so, some polls would have it higher, some frankly a lot lower. the point why are people still supporting him i think that's also a fair question, a number of venezuelans depend completely for their livelihood on the state and on handouts from the state, whether it's their state jobs, whether it's their food supply that they receive from the states, whether it's the health care that they receive from the states, also ideological component for a number of folks, everybody has eitheir own reasons, broadly speaking, those who support mr. maduro are doing so because they see in him somebody that's
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providing certain needs for him and their family. he does maintain some support this is not uniform, but i think that's the vast majority of people are looking for a change. >> host: you mentioned russia as one of those supporters, mary says this, the administration, the trump administration is proxy war between battle with venezuela over russia, or russia over venezuela. is there truth to that? >> guest: i hope not. i don't think it's going get to cold war levels, i don't think the russians want it to get to that level, i mean, we certainly don't. you know, the russians have their own interest in venezuela among them the international against russia, they have access sector in venezuela, they've sold weapons, hard currency deals that they've achieved but most important for russia they are able to project power and thorn to the united
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states in the western hemisphere, when push comes to shove would russia really be there in the end and how hard would they push but they have certainly raised the cost for increased sanctions and activities in venezuela, but, yeah, i'm hoping as long as many others. >> host: many viewers of the program would know of the monron doctrine, how does it apply in this case? >> the maduro doctrine was 100 years ago, warning to european power to allow the latin american countries at the time to take root and flourish and not reassert authorities in western hemisphere. the world has changed fundamentally in 200 years and different tools available. cyber didn't exist 200 years ago, and so this is something
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that i think probably we can lay aside truthfully, we have to deal with the venezuela. >> host: council of the americas, serves as vice president, talking about issues in venezuela, albert in florida, hello. >> caller: yes, i want to know why does the united states could not help venezuela when we really need to help them to get rid of the communism in south america? i know communists countries, are we looking the other direction like when hit we -- hitler was n power and people looked the other direction and it didn't help to be free, we don't need more communist in south america or anywhere else. the system does not work anywhere that it goes. >> guest: well, i think that's very much behind the u.s. approach, both under president obama and now president trump.
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venezuela does the attention of the international community, but what's the appropriate in those circumstances as the prices gets worse, i think focuses the minds of people to increase pressure in the maduro regime but in hopeses that they will change course or he will see leave and turn to democratic path. >> pat, hello. >> caller: can you tell me getting rid of maduro even the major set, isn't his level of support in the country one of the prospects for -- >> guest: really good question. he has the regime behind him and number of people who are fully invested and continuation of his rule and if it's not him, somebody else with similar approach.
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they are fully invested in drug trafficking, the new york times had report yesterday and activities that would a cause tm to want to see the continuation to have regime. ting caller is making a very important point, complicated situation. so, again, i'm not calling for that, but one of the reasons why people are reluctant to do that including ourselves is because

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