Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
An opposition supporter holds a Venezuelan flag during a rally against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and to commemorate May Day in Caracas Venezuela, May 1, 2019. (Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino)
CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan general called on the country's armed forces on Sunday to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro, who has relied on the backing of the military to hold on to power despite an economic collapse.
26 January 2019, Venezuela, Caracas: Juan Guaido, who has appointed himself interim president, speaks to supporters in the Venezuelan capital. (Photo / Rafael Hernandez/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images.)
Beloved readers: Your friend and humble Pentagon correspondent has been spending the last week trying to figure out why in the name of the Risen Mattis that Venezuela has suddenly become a national security hotspot.
As far as your dimwitted reporter can determine, neither the Taliban nor Al Qaeda nor ISIS have established a caliphate in the Bolivarian Republic. None of North Korea's nuclear weapons or ballistic missile facilities have been moved south of the border. And Caracas is the one place where Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani hasn't taken a selfie – yet.