Venezuela’s crisis isn’t dying down. On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was open to talks with the Venezuelan opposition and potentially to foreign mediation. But the opposition isn’t interested. The country’s supreme court, which is loyal to Maduro, froze the assets of and slapped a travel ban on opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido, who will presumably be at protests that begin today and will continue into the weekend.
As always, watch what key players do, not what they say. This includes the military, which remains the kingmaker in Venezuela, and outside powers, which are behaving as though a showdown is approaching. Following an unconfirmed Reuters report last week that Russian mercenaries had arrived to bolster Maduro’s security forces, a mysterious Russian 777 was spotted in Caracas on Tuesday, fueling all sorts of lurid speculation (and Moscow denials) about Russian efforts to prop up Maduro. A senior U.S. National Securit