The Atlantic

The White House’s Move on Venezuela Is the Least Trumpian Thing It’s Done

The Trump administration’s concerted diplomatic effort did not originate on Twitter.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

It didn’t begin with a tweet.

Donald Trump’s decision this week to recognize Venezuela’s opposition leader as the nation’s legitimate president is surprising on many levels. But one of them is that it didn’t arrive as a bolt from the president’s blue-checkmarked Twitter account.

No delicate diplomacy with a nuclear-armed nation was blown to smithereens by a couple hundred dashed-off characters from the commander in chief. No advisers jetted off to reassure allies after a presidential proclamation. No one printed out a tweet and handed it to the American secretary of state so that he could turn it into coherent policy.

[Read: Trump’s dumping of Maduro could be just the start ]

Instead, as Venezuela’s autocratic leader Nicolás Maduro another term in office after a , Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with U.S. the constitutional right of Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, to invalidate Maduro’s presidency. On Tuesday, on the eve of widespread antigovernment protests there, Vice President Mike Pence Guaidó and in an and a expressed solidarity with the Venezuelan people (“,” he declared). Within minutes of Guaidó  interim president at a raucous rally in Caracas on Wednesday afternoon, the White House a presidential statement recognizing him as the nation’s legitimate leader.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Trump Could Win Again
He’s unpopular, scandalous, and a bigot, and we may be sliding into a recession. But that might not matter.
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
Why Conservatives Are Turning Against Higher Education
This article was updated on August 20, 2019 at 5:53pm A native of small-town Missouri who excelled at Stanford and Yale Law School, Josh Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, is keenly aware of how higher education can serve as a springboard into
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Every American Should Hope Trump Prevails Against China
Working on economic policy at the White House, I came to understand that the stakes of the confrontation are far higher than those of trade alone.