Feb 2, 2019

Washington's offer to Maduro isn't a new one

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro (L) and National Assembly President Juan Guaidó. Photos: Yuri Cortez, Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

The White House is making Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and members of his inner circle an offer: accept amnesty from National Assembly President Juan Guaidó and move somewhere nice or dig in your heels and face the consequences, Dave Lawler reports in Thursday's Axios World.

What to watch: The official said the administration is focused "100%" on preparing humanitarian aid to be delivered once Maduro is out of the way. Dave asked whether there were any discussions about sending troops to Colombia (based on John Bolton's notepad) and got a lengthy non-denial.

My thought bubble: The opportunity for Maduro to take a king's ransom and live on "a nice beach somewhere" has been on the table for years. The Organization of American States would have gladly financed such a package prior to Donald Trump's election, and Trump has been pushing for Maduro's ouster since he became president.

  • The problem is that Maduro does not live in reality, where he is despised around the world and opposed by 80% of his own people. He sees only his still-attended pep rallies where he blames American imperialism for all the country's problems.
  • He also continues to hold support from Cuban intelligence, Russian military, Chinese financiers, drug traffickers and his recently created Constituent Assembly packed with family members and friends.
  • The military option echoes Iraq in its thinking. Despite general disdain for Maduro, Chavismo and socialism remain popular in Venezuela, and Americans are unlikely to be greeted as liberators if they invade.

What's changed: With U.S. sanctions on oil, about half of Maduro's revenue will be cut and he will likely have to call on more support from Russia, Cuba and China.

Yes, but: Maduro's money supply has been draining for years, as he lost the ability to issue new debt and oil production sank to historic lows, yet he's continued to find ways to cling to power.

Go deeper: Bond markets are driving the global split on Venezuela

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll hits 3,900

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus has just hit 3,900, per Johns Hopkins data.

Details: Tuesday night's grim milestone came hours after President Trump said it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 858,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 857,957 — Total deaths: 42,139 — Total recoveries: 178,091.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 188,547 — Total deaths: 3,899 — Total recoveries: 7,068.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.