Why did Trump leave Russia in Venezuela

Comment: Trump's last straw is Venezuela

You have to give him one thing: US President Donald Trump has often tried to pull off the big foreign policy coup. North Korea's ruler Kim Jong Un was to be persuaded in a kind of male friendship on equal terms to give up his atom bomb plans - as is well known, nothing came of it.

By terminating the international nuclear agreement and tightening sanctions, Trump wanted to prevent Iran from nuclear armament - with the result that Iran, for its part, no longer feels bound by the agreement.

With his troop withdrawal from Syria, Trump achieved one thing above all else: Turkey and Russia were given a free hand to intervene in the region, the so-called "Islamic State" was given a second chance and the Kurdish partners saw themselves abandoned overnight.

A new treaty should settle the trade dispute with China. A first partial agreement has been signed, but the economic damage caused by the conflict for the USA has so far been great.

The list of attempts by the US President to achieve foreign policy successes with his typically Trumpian style is long. Most of the time they have failed.

Armament instead of politics

And there was also Venezuela: ruler Nicolás Maduro, who drove his country to economic ruin and left his people starving, is supposed to leave the field. Instead, Trump would like the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó in office. But so far there is no change in power in sight - despite Washington's threats and sanctions against Maduro and support for Guaidó.

Oliver Sallet, DW correspondent in Washington

Now the economically troubled Venezuela is also hit by the corona virus. It is a great opportunity for Donald Trump to try again with his policy of maximum pressure. That's why he moved additional warships and reconnaissance planes to the region last week. Official reason: Colombian drug cartels tried to exploit the pandemic for their own purposes. For Trump, it is clear that Maduro is working with the drug lords and smuggling cocaine into the United States. Will Trump be successful with his military advance? Hardly likely.

The house of cards collapses

But one thing is clear: Donald Trump absolutely needs a foreign policy success. Because his great pride, the booming economy, the records on the stock market are currently literally collapsing before his eyes like a house of cards, which according to economists has always been. And the wall on the border with Mexico, which he wholeheartedly promised his voters, is no longer an issue today.

The coronavirus - which Trump belittled for weeks, as a pipe dream of the Democrats, as a flu virus that would soon be gone - has reshuffled the cards. So what still speaks in favor of Donald Trump's re-election?

Seeing the catastrophe

In the crisis, the Americans stand behind their president. This has always been the case and was also initially observed during the corona pandemic. But not all of his voters forgive him the high death rates, the unstoppable catastrophe into which the USA is slipping and which has long raged in New York City. The unemployment figures are skyrocketing and Trump is also running out of time until the election date in early November.

A breakthrough in foreign policy would not only be welcome, it would be essential for survival. Success in Venezuela is Donald Trump's last remaining straw.