US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appointed controversial Republican Elliot Abrams to follow up Venezuela.
The appointment of Abrams comes after President Donald Trump acknowledged the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly as the country’s legitimate president, and at the same time demanded that incumbent President Nicolás Maduro leave.
Abrams has served in several Republican administrations since Ronald Reagan and was one of the chief architects of Central America policy during both Reagan and George HW Bush. Under George W. Bush, he had, inter alia, responsibility for the Middle East policy.
He was known as a hawk for Latin America and played a role in the Iranian counter-affair when the United States secretly sold weapons to Iran and used the money to buy weapons for the contraband that waged war against the sandinist regime in Nicaragua.
He was convicted in 1991 of withholding information from Congress during the investigation of the Iran contra-affair, but was later pardoned.
He was speaking as Deputy Foreign Minister after Trump was elected president, but was reportedly dropped because he had been critical of Trump.