How an Oval Office meeting changed U.S. policy toward Venezuela


President Trump’s decision to suddenly announce a major change in U.S. policy toward Venezuela in February began with an unexpected Oval Office meeting with Lilian Tintori, the wife of the country’s most prominent political prisoner, David Nakamura writes for The Washington Post:

At the White House to meet Vice President Pence and press the administration to do more about human rights in her home country, Tintori was whisked in to see Trump, who seemed unfamiliar with her story ..  Later, as Tintori [above, a recipient of the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2015 Democracy Award] made her case during the 40-minute meeting, first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez [right] faced in jail back in Caracas….

“The environment was pretty ripe for increasing pressure from Washington,” said José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division. RTWT

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