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The shock announcement today by President Obama regarding the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations puts Maduro in a difficult spot, says Nicmer Evans, a prominent chavista and government critic.

According to Evans:

This announcement pulls the rub out from under Maduro and his policies towards the United States, and even the [PSUV] internal political discourse, which was based primarily on the anti-imperialist struggle and on condemning the U.S. blockade on Cuba.

Milos Alcalay, a Venezuelan diplomat and former Ambassador to Brazil, believes that Raul Castro did not speak to Maduro about his country’s new stance towards the United States. In a sign that the move did come as a surprise to the Venezuelan government, Maduro spoke on the announcement at a MERCOSUR meeting in Argentina, saying:

We will continue to work and look for ways to make our relations with the giant of the north [the United States] take the path they need to take, specially with these news, these fresh winds blowing over Cuba.

Maduro’s words are surprisingly tender given the fact that three days ago he said that the United States Congress was full of “imperialist imbeciles”.

128 Police Officers Killed in Caracas This Year

The number of police officers murdered in the Greater Caracas Area rose to 128 today with the death of Jonathan Fernandez (30), a police officer from the Paz Castillo municipality south east of the city.

Early Tuesday morning, Fernandez and several other officers were standing guard at a crime scene when a group of men attacked the officers. Fernandez was shot in the head and killed shortly thereafter in a local hospital.

Opinion

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States is a monumental step forward in the name of diplomacy and common sense. The economic embargo against Cuba punished the people of Cuba – whose only crime was to have been born in the wrong country – more so than it affected the Castro brothers. It was only a matter of time before this old hatchet was buried, and it looks like the time has finally come.

It will be extremely interesting to watch how Venezuela will react to this news in the coming days and weeks. Maduro (and Chavez before him) took a lot of pride in always standing tall beside their ally, Cuba, ever a thorn at the side of the United States. The two countries styled themselves as bulwarks against the insatiable lust for world domination of El Imperio.

Now that Cuba and the United States are ready to become friends, where does that leave Venezuela?

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