Upon being elected last week, Argentina's new President Mauricio Macri urged MERCOSUR to invoke its “democracy clause” and expel Venezuela from the regional trading bloc due to its human rights and anti-democratic practices.
This proposal was quickly rebuked by the governments of Brazil and Uruguay.
Less than a day later, Brazil and Uruguay dispatched its foreign ministers to Havana for emergency consultations. The visit included a meeting with General Raul Castro.
With Venezuela's December 6th legislative elections looming, the Maduro government is clearly in trouble. Meanwhile, efforts to save Maduro's rule are being coordinated by his Cuban mentors, the Castro brothers.
It's not quite clear how the Maduro government will handle its precarious state and overwhelming opposition on December 6th -- whether through fraud, force or provoking a crisis (like last week's murder of opposition politician, Luis Diaz), in order to "postpone" the elections altogether.
However, one thing is for sure, Maduro needs a distraction to pivot the international media and observers away from his “handling” of December 6th and its aftermath -- and Castro is ready to deliver.
Thus, watch for the Cuban refugee crisis in Central and South America to escalate in the coming days and weeks.
Maduro (and Castro) has a great deal riding on it.
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