Bizarre Plots and Nasty Coverups
Inside the strange and unsettling events in Venezuela and Niger in this week's SpyTalk podcast
We haven’t paid a lot of attention to Latin America, what with so much else going on here at home on topics ranging from the “peanut butter spies” to Jan. 6 investigations to troubling news related to Afghanistan, China and Russia. But the looming extradition from Spain to the U.S. of Venezuela’s ex-spy boss last week caught my eye. So I called up David Smilde, a distinguished expert on Venezuela at Tulane University, who’s closely tracked events in Caracas, where intrigue and bizarre coup attempts seem to be part of the daily diet. We discussed all of those, particularly a weird plot to overthrow Nicolås Maduro that ended with former U.S. Special Forces troopers in jail, plus how the Biden administration is pretty much leaving Venezuela to stew in its own rancid juices—a pity for its suffering citizens.
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