Tom Shannon had a press briefing about his trip to Venezuela. A few points:
First, the good cop/bad cop tactics of the Obama administration, where targeted sanctions are accompanied by discussions, are effective in keeping lines of communication open while isolating key members of the government.
Second, it struck me how the U.S. and everyone else openly uses the phrase "political prisoners" and no one bats an eye. There's not even a pretense anymore that these arrests were legal.
Third, the U.S. is all-in with dialogue because it figures there is no other peaceful option, and violence will be bad for everyone involved, including the United States.
Absent this dialogue process, Venezuela will find itself in a state in which both the government and the opposition will have to measure themselves through their ability to put people onto the streets. And while mobilization can be an important part of a negotiated – a negotiation process, absent a negotiation process, mobilization is unpredictable and can be very dangerous.
Fourth, the U.S. election matters a lot. I shudder to think what President Trump would do.