Venezuela’s Young Contender Eyes China Reset

(Bloomberg) --

For the young politician trying to get rid of Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro, a key question is how to deal with China.

Beijing has for decades been a heavy investor in Venezuela – under Maduro and Hugo Chavez before him – and a buyer of its oil. Its presence also gives it the chance to needle the U.S. in a region America considers its strategic backyard.

If National Assembly leader Juan Guaido comes to power, he will face a shattered economy with large reconstruction needs. Countries like China, with deep pockets and patience on investment returns, can help.

“We are ready to begin a constructive relationship and dialogue with China as soon as possible,” Guaido told Bloomberg in an interview. That said, he also wants a reset in ties. He called for a more “transparent relationship,” adding any prior deals with China would be honored – if they were lawfully done.

China is likely to be open to talks. Even so, Guaido will need to tread carefully to avoid antagonizing the U.S., which has become his vocal supporter. While both countries present an opportunity for a post-Maduro Venezuela, the worst outcome would be to get caught in a tussle between the major powers for influence.

Venezuela’s Young Contender Eyes China Reset

Global Headlines

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Venezuela’s Young Contender Eyes China Reset

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What to Watch

  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s launch of a new working group to look for a Plan B on Brexit comes too late to stop businesses such as Nissan Motor from ditching commitments to Britain.

  • In a rare break with Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate is poised to approve a measure urging the U.S. to continue the fight against Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan and avoid any “precipitous withdrawal” from those conflicts.

And finally... Benjamin Netanyahu, embattled by corruption allegations and facing a formidable challenge in the April 9 election, has tapped an unlikely “running mate” to burnish his credentials: Donald Trump. Massive billboards of the Israeli prime minister and the American president clasping hands and smiling have been tacked up on major highways. A campaign video released last week also features Trump announcing the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem under the caption: “They said it was impossible.”

Venezuela’s Young Contender Eyes China Reset

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