Stories by Christopher Sabatini

Expert Voices

Trump's tighter Cuba policies aim at Florida but could upset allies

John Bolton
National security adviser John Bolton speaking in Coral Gables, Florida, on April 17. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

National security adviser John Bolton's announcement on April 17 of additional sanctions on Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba marked another step in the attempt to tighten the noose around the countries he has dubbed the "Troika of Tyranny."

The big picture: Ahead of 2020, President Trump is trying to fuse the anti-communism of Cuban American voters with the frustrations of other Troika migrants who have fled repression and dysfunction. With regime change yet to take hold in Venezuela, the administration has begun to increase pressure on Cuba while tying together its policies toward both countries.

Expert Voices

Russian troops firm up support for Maduro, impeding U.S.-led efforts

Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Dec. 5, 2018, meeting. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

Two Russian planes landed in Venezuela on Saturday, reportedly carrying 35 tons of military supplies and 100 Russian troops. The Venezuelan and Russian governments have claimed that the materiel and troops are there under a contract to service Russian military equipment, but the timing and the scale belie those claims.

Why it matters: More than two months after the United States and 50 other countries recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as president of the country, Russia’s latest power play is a defiant move to shape events in what has long been considered a U.S. sphere of influence.

Expert Voices

U.S. action on Maduro informed by Florida's electoral politics

The decision of 11 governments in Latin America, the U.S., the Organization of American States (OAS), and Canada last month to recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president was many years in the making. The international community has long looked to act on Venezuela, but the incremental measures of President Hugo Chávez and later Nicolás Maduro to roll back the country’s democracy and freedoms failed to provide one specific moment — like a traditional military coup — that could trigger collective action.