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With Venezuela convulsed by crisis, Trump's hawks take dramatic turn

34 Comments
By Roberta Rampton, Matt Spetalnick and Patricia Zengerle

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34 Comments
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Maduro and is predecessor are and were nothing but tin-pot dictators that brutalized the Venezuelan people - the sooner they are on the "ash heap of history", the better.

But letting John "lets bomb Iran" Bolton near any diplomatic flashpoint is like pouring gas on a fire.  This guy defines the term far-right wing nut - and that's a label by another Republican (Brent Scowcroft).

The US should assist from a humanitarian perspective as much as it can - but put Bolton back in his playpen and lock the gate.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Election meddling and collusion on display for all to see.

By your boy Trump. Trying to stir the pot, but we all read your pro-Trump posts along with your anti-US posts.

seems like this is the right stance for the USA to have on this issue. I will wait and see what the anti-Trump people come up with though.

Agreed. It seems like it's going to get worse in Venezuela before it gets better.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Joeintokyo

Yeah, it's insane to chart a course for one's country that is truly independent from U.S. diktats. Chavez and Maduro should have accepted their place as puppets to the Empire. How dare they try to take from the 1% and give a little to the impoverished.

It worked for a little while, but like every other socialist regime in history, it all fell apart when they ran out of other people's money to "distribute." And so the impoverished they were ostensibly protecting (while enriching themselves - they're well in that 1%) Chavez, Maduro and cronies made their citizens far worse off than they'd been before.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Haven't been following the situation in Venezuela for over a year. But wasn't it a matter of time until this happened? Hasn't Maduro been trying to consolidate power for the past few years in an attempt to rewrite their constitution and stay in power as long as possible?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Being told to recall your diplomats is a polite way of saying "they're going to our jail" if you don't.  

Let Pompeo stay in the Embassy tonight. 

Chavez and Venezuela made the fatal mistake of taking the oil away from the multinational energy companies and kicking them out of the country. Since that happened, the US has had their long knives out. The financial crisis in Venezuela has been significantly worsened by the crippling American sanctions. The US has even made repeated threats to invade a country that poses no danger to America. It's because the oligarchs run the show, they tell the government what to do and the politicians follow their orders. They can't let some Latin American upstarts take away their honeypot.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Fred Wallace

Blame said country for destroying the fragment of society while conjuring up some age old boogeymen like say socialism, communism etc to further brainwash the already prejudiced populace

Um, you do realise that Chavez was and Maduro is an avowed socialist, right? It's their insane policies that have driven Venezuela into its current state. You can't take away their agency.

But letting John Bolton anywhere near this mess is not going to help matters...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@Crazy Joe, while there is truth to that, Chavez was also inept and ran the government into the ground himself with plenty of bad economic decisions, and Maduro is no better (actually, he’s worse).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Certainly Venezuela is in a horrible situation - Maduro has only made a bad situation worse, but I don’t know that starting WW3 there will be helpful. Expat Venezuelans do support the new guy, but unless Venezuela’s army supports a change as well, this will be soon become a much messier situation involving Russia and the shutdown US. I don’t see a happy outcome at this point. The US doesn’t have a wonderful record for promoting peaceful, harmonious change, and neither does Russia. Venezuelans need a change but not a war.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

seems like this is the right stance for the USA to have on this issue. I will wait and see what the anti-Trump people come up with though.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Hmm. A country where the popular vote of the people was not reflected in the result. Where else could that happen? (The irony is staggering.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Washington's decision to throw its weight behind Guaido, a virtual unknown in Venezuelan politics until recently, came only after it became convinced that the 35-year-old with a U.S. education was a democratic-minded leader they could trust and work with, U.S. officials said.

So "democratic-minded" that he unilaterally declared himself president without receiving a single vote. What they really mean is that he will serve as a useful US puppet and allow multinational corporations unfettered access to Venezuela's oil and gold.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How does an oil rich country screw itself so badly? Oh, that’s right. Socialism.

Mismanaged socialism.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump should stick to his own instincts. Foreign entanglements do not help anyone. Let Venezuelans solve their own problems. They want to be free? Let them take the initiative themselves.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

became convinced that the 35-year-old with a U.S. education was a democratic-minded leader they could trust and work with, U.S. officials said.

They forgot to include: trust and work and give them all that juicy patroleum!

Trump, like Putin, isn't very inconspicuous to say the least. The US and the CIA still up to their usual tricks.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Election meddling and collusion on display for all to see.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

.

Guaido is pro democracy - and very smart - but he doesn't have the political acumen and nastiness that is necessary to forge successful resistance to Maduro's vicious and corrupt self serving dictatorship

.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Another case of US support and pressure for a right-wing govt. takeover. Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, El Savador, ....

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Interestingly, I have done work for a company that has operations in Nicaragua, which is run by the head of the Sandinistas, from the '80s contra days.

Nicaragua itself has been in turmoil over the last year and it seems there has been great pressure from the people, the Catholic Church and others for Ortega to step down. However, he hasn't.

What is interesting is that arms have been flowing from Venezuela to Ortega's regime, something that hasn't been reported.

So, one has to assume that the U.S. move in Venezuela is not just about Venezuela.

A shame that a country that is blessed with the natural wealth that Venezuela possesses has not been able to figure out a way to use that wealth to benefit the country as a whole. Chavez / Maduro were a reaction to what was before them, which was the exploitation of that wealth for the benefit pf foreign MNCs and a small percentage of the population, while most of the country did not see any benefits.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How does an oil rich country screw itself so badly?

Good question. Venezuela's rulers must answer for it. And so should US, Russian and Chinese rulers. And the oil companies in each country. And their financial backers.

The other effect of the sanctions under consideration by the Trump administration involves Russia and China. Venezuela is heavily indebted to Russia and China. In fact, much of the cash it generates from selling crude oil actually goes to pay the interest on loans it has from Russia and China. U.S. sanctions would decrease this revenue, forcing Russian oil firm Rosneft and Chinese interests to seize Venezuelan oil assets outside of Venezuela . The most significant of these assets are the refineries in the U.S. owned by Citgo, which are collateral on Venezuela's debts to Rosneft . https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2019/01/23/amid-the-venezuelan-crisis-a-look-at-oil-russia-and-trump/#6ea172eb394c

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maduro may well be a disaster for his country, but surely the Us must have learned by now that getting involved like this never ends well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, America has 'determined' that a guy who refused to run in the Presidential election because he lacked a wide enough base of support to win that, but declared himself President anyway, is democratically minded.

Of course, they also recently 'determined' that a group that also lacked a wide base of support to win an election, but were determined to take power anyway were democratically minded, and moderate. You probably know them by the acronym ISIS.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone who wants an insight into Venezuela's current situation should read "Comandante" by Guardian UK journalist and Venezuela correspondent Rory Carroll. Granted, one book is just one man's opinion, but at least that opinion comes from someone who lived in and reported on the country for many years and Carroll is neither a right-wing hack nor a Chavista.

As Carroll makes clear and a few other posters have said, it was mismanagement and incompetence rather than US interference or "socialism" that led to things going so badly wrong. Chavez's rule was a personality cult, and the people's faith in him, despite all the evidence Chavez wasn't going to pull off any miracles, is not something Maduro is going to be able to replicate however much he tries to channel the spirit of Chavez (red shirts, Bolivarian Revolution) in order to hang on to power.

But what does Guaido stand for, apart from not being Maduro?

Venezuelans need a change but not a war.

Amen to that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How does an oil rich country screw itself so badly? Oh, that’s right. Socialism.

There are plenty of countries which are not socialist and have oil and other natural resources who screw themselves.

Still, if you like this narrative, knock yourself out. Just don’t expect serious people to take it seriously.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, I guess the US troops being withdrawn from Syria will have to go somewhere. The target is set, but now the problem is Putin is backing Maduro and has warned that no foreign troops should set foot in Venezuela. Those remaining US diplomats and CIA will have to work harder there underground. China, on the other hand, is not backing anyone only saying that let the people there decide for themselves and no one should interfere in Venezuela’s domestic affairs. Can you see the villains in all these?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How does an oil rich country screw itself so badly? Oh, that’s right. Socialism.

Yes, yes, that's the reason. Nothing else could have possibly played a part rolleyes

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I’m all for it, we don’t need to go in to try and push this maniac out, the country was better off after that Chavez wrecking that country and Maduro is not much better. Let’s hope he’s toppled soon and Guaido can give these people their lives, honor and dignity back.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I agree with these guys:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/24/open-letter-over-70-scholars-and-experts-condemns-us-backed-coup-attempt-venezuela

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The United States is seeking to ensure that Venezuelan oil revenue

US, Russia, China: Let Venezuelans decide what they do with the oil and other resources found in their territory.

Using more alternatives to burning so much oil, gas and coal is one way to lessen the control of the world's competing empires, and one way to reduce the increasing effects of climate change.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

President Donald Trump's full-throated backing for opposition leader Juan Guaido 

Not just Trump, Canada, brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina.

How does an oil rich country screw itself so badly? Oh, that’s right. Socialism.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The modus operandi of the american regime

Step one:

Wreak the economy of said rebellious nation

 

United States sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have cost the Latin American nation $6 billion since August of 2017, leaving the fate of healthcare and access to basic goods in jeopardy for millions of already struggling Venezuelans.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/us-sanctions-cost-venezuela-6b-since-august-2017-sparking-humanitarian-catastrophe/251274/

Step two:

Blame said country for destroying the fragment of society while conjuring up some age old boogeymen like say socialism, communism etc to further brainwash the already prejudiced populace

Step three:

Prop up a puppet government and place all weight behind that said puppet while claiming a moral high ground.

Funny, the russia medling crowd are suspiciously silent when the shoes on the other foot. Interesting indeed.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

at Chavez was and Maduro is an avowed socialist, right? It's their insane policies that have driven Venezuela into its current state

You missed a step. Refer to step one then proceed cautiously. It's quite hard implementing policy when your hands are tied behind your back.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

missed the part about the U.S.--world's largest economy--actively trying to destroy Venezuela's economy.

An oft 'forgotten' fact

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

It's their insane policies that have driven Venezuela into its current state.

Yeah, it's insane to chart a course for one's country that is truly independent from U.S. diktats. Chavez and Maduro should have accepted their place as puppets to the Empire. How dare they try to take from the 1% and give a little to the impoverished.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

It worked for a little while, but like every other socialist regime in history, it all fell apart when they ran out of other people's money to "distribute." And so the impoverished they were ostensibly protecting (while enriching themselves - they're well in that 1%) Chavez, Maduro and cronies made their citizens far worse off than they'd been before.

I guess you missed the part about the U.S.--world's largest economy--actively trying to destroy Venezuela's economy.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

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