James Story: “What Abrams Said Was Misinterpreted”
The chargé d'affaires for the Venezuela Affairs Unit of the U.S. Department of State tries to revive the rhetoric that all options are still on the table
Spanish – Just one step away from becoming ambassador to Venezuela, James Story, the current chargé d’affaires for Venezuela of the U.S. Department of State, has demonstrated his role as interpreter for the special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, who drew harsh criticism for his recent remarks against Venezuelan conservative opposition leader María Corina Machado.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC, Story came out again in defense of Abrams to try to clarify his unfortunate comment. When asked about María Corina Machado’s request for urgent armed intervention in Venezuela and the fact that Abrams has described that proposal as “magic realism,” Story stated that it had been a misinterpretation.
“I think that what Ambassador Abrams said was misinterpreted. What he meant was that all options remain on the table. It is clear that Venezuela represents a threat to the region and the United States, especially because of its relationship with Iran, a state that promotes terrorism, illegal armed groups such as the FARC or the ELN, and drug traffickers.”
He added that “what the ambassador was saying about María Corina and the others is that if they wait for someone else to solve the problem, they will lose the opportunity to organize internally.”
“All options remain on the table”
In a recent press conference with Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaidó, the diplomatic representative reiterated that “all options are and will be on the table.” This was in reference to Abrams’ controversial statements to the international channel NTN24.
The special envoy for Venezuela had said at the time that “Maria Corina is free to say what she wants. She lives in magical realism and is calling for a Plan B. I don’t think that’s a sensible response to what people need.”
Story had also offered similar statements, but more closely aligned with the diplomatic discourse. “There are people who only think about Plan B, who only think that the magic moment of a military intervention is going to come, and I don’t know what, and this is very harmful.”
These statements, in particular that of Abrams, received harsh criticism among the public, to the point that Story has had to qualify the position on several occasions. The political analyst and former director of PDVSA, Pedro Mario Burelli, did not hide his disagreement and harshly lashed out at Abrams with a categorical tweet.
¿Realismo mágico? Elliott Abrams decidió recurrir a Gabo para burlarse de @MariaCorinaYA. Fuentes en @WhiteHouse me dicen que quitar lo de “todas las opciones están sobre la mesa" de la mesa, le está costando caro a un improvisador que de Venezuela entiende menos que de Macondo. pic.twitter.com/lJIrA9Frvc
— Pedro Mario Burelli (@pburelli) September 13, 2020