Here's where the diplomatic game board gets tricky. Wooing Venezuela's clients was part of the logic behind the Obama administration's 2015 clean-energy initiative. But even that help came with a caveat. "We're not going to be able to substitute American oil for Venezuelan oil," then deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes advised. Given Washington's current Latin America attention deficit -- after calling out Venezuela's excesses, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson didn't show up in Cancun -- that prognosis is unlikely to change soon. "We shouldn't expect reasonable, pondered much less pacifying measures from the current U.S. government," said Brazil's Botafogo Gonçalves. "And it's unlikely we'll see courageous moves or financial assistance from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, which are facing complicated political and economic crises of their own."