It is more than natural that all of us have recently focused all our attention on a single issue: the coronavirus.
And how could we not? When have our lives ever changed so radically? When has our future ever looked so uncertain?
However, some things seem to go on unaffected by the coronavirus.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice condemned Venezuelan President Maduro and his close associates on charges of turning Venezuela into a criminal enterprise at the service of drug traffickers and terrorists, and stealing millions from the country rich in oil and diamonds.
The State Department announced it is offering a $15 million reward to anyone with information that would lead to his arrest.
In response, Maduro said of Trump: “you manage international relations like a New York Mafia extortion artist you once were as a real estate boss.”
It is well known that America is doing whatever it can to remove Maduro from power.
His indictment reveals that the effort to remove him has not been abandoned, as some have thought, but instead has intensified.
A Justice Department source told the Associated Press that Maduro’s indictment shows what awaits anyone, no matter who s/he is, who doesn’t follow Washington’s orders. After all, it is said that Maduro is trying to negotiate his security as part of his effort to relinquish power.
Of course these developments are interesting in and of themselves.
However, they are of extra interest to us Greeks because former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his close associate Nikos Pappas maintained relations with him.
You will remember, I believe, Pappas’ visits to Maduro. You will remember the intervention of the then-Greek government when it tried to persuade the European Union not to recognize Guaido as the President of Venezuela (he was recognized by Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the first day he assumed power).
You will also remember, I believe, the visits of the planes of the Venezuelan government to the Athens airport in the midst of the crisis in that country.
I believe you will also remember that the then Prime Minister of Greece had gone to the funeral of Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor.
This does not mean that Alexis Tsipras was aware of the criminal activities and drug trafficking which Maduro was mixed up in according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
But it does prove what we were saying then: that Greece had absolutely nothing to gain from this strange relationship. On the contrary, it could only lose.