Yesterday, in a thinkpiece posted at Project Syndicate, Venezuelan economist and former Planning Minister, Ricardo Hausmann, proposes an alternative long deemed unthinkable, and now increasingly tempting: foreign military intervention.

As solutions go, why not consider the following one: the National Assembly could impeach Maduro and the OFAC-sanctioned, narco-trafficking vice president, Tareck El Aissami (…) The Assembly could constitutionally appoint a new government, which in turn could request military assistance from a coalition of the willing, including Latin American, North American, and European countries. This force would free Venezuela, in the same way Canadians, Australians, Brits, and Americans liberated Europe in 1944-1945. Closer to home, it would be akin to the US liberating Panama from the oppression of Manuel Noriega, ushering in democracy and the fastest economic growth in Latin America.

This is a well-travelled road. Last August, when the U.S. President said he considered military options, the martial fantasies of both the government and the so-called “keyboard warriors” got crazy excited, but prof. Hausmann’s piece is no thoughtless comment. With no options left, a foreign military intervention, delineated in accordance to International Law, may be in Venezuela’s best interest. On paper, it would be closer to Grenada than the updated Bay of Pigs that Chavismo always envisioned.

This leaves us with an international military intervention, a solution that scares most Latin American governments because of a history of aggressive actions against their sovereign interests, especially in Mexico and Central America. But these may be the wrong historical analogies. After all, Simón Bolívar gained the title of Liberator of Venezuela thanks to an 1814 invasion organized and financed by neighboring Nueva Granada (today’s Colombia). France, Belgium, and the Netherlands could not free themselves of an oppressive regime between 1940 and 1944 without international military action

But the problem is not how. The problem is why.

Why would Colombia, or Peru, or Spain or any other democratic country commit their nation’s taxes, resources and soldiers’ lives to a high-risk adventure against a well-stocked military regime, with state-of-the-art Russian weaponry, plus tens of thousands of militias and fanatical followers who have mythologized a foreign invasion?

Apparently, because it’s the right thing to do:

An imploding Venezuela is not in most countries’ national interest. And conditions there constitute a crime against humanity that must be stopped on moral grounds. The failure of Operation Market Garden in September 1944, immortalized in the book and film A Bridge Too Far, led to famine in the Netherlands in the winter of 1944-1945. Today’s Venezuelan famine is already worse. How many lives must be shattered before salvation comes?

A noble pitch, but one so Venezuela-centric that it loses sight of the obvious: politicians in neighbouring countries are focused on their own problems (and re-election prospects). That’s as it should be.

The examples offered don’t really apply to the Venezuelan context either. Panama during Noriega, the go-to example, had a population of less than 2,5 million people, and a whole lot of U.S. military bases already in the Panama Canal Zone — which was sovereign U.S. territory at the time. Even so, they were not spared the atrocities.

European countries under Nazi occupation during World War II make even less sense as a case example. The U.S. didn’t fight World War II to liberate the Netherlands.

Grenada, however, could be regarded as a positive example involving local government officials and the international community protesting a military takeover of the government that included the execution of prime minister Maurice Bishop and a U.S.-led military force restoring democracy. Today, the invasion is commemorated as their Thanksgiving.

The closest equivalent to what could happen is not a Latin American experience, but a Middle-Eastern one.

It managed to be a success despite condemn by the United Nations, thanks to the tense Cold War climate that allowed Ronald Reagan a lot of leeway back home, and Grenada having a third of the territory and a fourth of the population of Margarita Island. And even then, they had problems!

I could be wrong. Maybe the hypothetical military intervention could be a clean and swift affair, reinstating democratic order in Venezuela. But the way I see it, the closest equivalent to what could happen is not a Latin American experience, but a Middle-Eastern one. A long, slow bloodbath of a guerrilla war in an oil country shaped by decades of authoritarian military government, with a cult of personality too weak to fend by itself. At worst, like Syria, it could turn into a proxy war between world powers.

How could the countries of this imaginary coalition sell this to their electorates back home?

They couldn’t. Which is why it won’t happen.

73 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t really agree with Hausmann’s call for a military intervention. However, he states something which is getting harder to deny with each passing day:

    “But it defies credulity to think that a regime that is willing to starve millions to remain in power would yield that power in free elections.”

  2. “But the problem is not how. The problem is why”. Exactly.

    Haussman and many other idealists think that other countries even care about little Venezuela. They don’t. It’s all talk. They have enough to worry with their own problems, plus much bigger concerns like Iran, North Korea, ISIS and African migration. Perhaps among exiled Harvard intellectuals, or in a few Doral panaderias in Miami there’s still some nostalgic talk about Cuba II. That’s it.

    The UN or the useless OEA.. even less. They don’t even act after massive Genocides in Syria, Serbia or Africa. Venezuela is just another little place in the third world, There are dozens of them in each of most continents. All they do is talk BS, “condemn” this or that here or there, and do nothing. What ingenuity from such a smart man! Intellectuals..

    The only solution in Kleptozuela involves the use of greater force than what Chavista crooks have. No doubt about that by now. Buy it would have to start from within, with COVERT help from the CIA, Seal team 6, etc. On a more realistic note, simply get used to the idea of Cubazuela, well into year 2050.

    • I basically agree (I’m gringo but lived in VZ for six years – before and Chavez took over). The majority of “thinking” Venezuelans have left the country. There is too of socialist learning in the population overall (including the opposition(? LOL) (everybody wants somebody else to take care of themselves so they party). Short of having Pinocet dug up from his grave (and fill his soccer stadium) and the “Boys From Chicago” to reassemble, chances are, you are going have to go it alone. More movements out the country, more deaths from starvation and diseases, more ……. !!!. In the long run – I guess it easier to let them starve (like Stalin).. But keep the flow of coke coming.

    • As Hasusman says
      “An imploding Venezuela is not in most countries’ national interest.”
      Bollocks, how does Venezuela choosing to close itself off to the world, cause political problems for its surrounding countries?
      Its when a country ‘explodes’ not ‘implodes’ that surrounding countries need to take note.
      The main movement of peoples has happened, and borders will soon be “controlled”.
      The naivety shown by Haussman is truly of epic proportions, military action akin to WW2 and Panama/Grenada with a coalition of the willing, how bloody stupid.
      A year ago this very blog was gobbing off about how the change in US politics clearly showed that Venos would rather go it alone, than be helped by anything connected to Trump and co. And i read it all.
      Haussman has no idea about military objectives, as i have no idea about Economics, although i can balance my books, so maybe i do?
      But from a military perspective you can forget it, and rightly so. There is nothing unifying in this country to fight towards, and even the Oil isnt worth shit, not for the amount of investment needed, and who would trust Venos to do a deal after looking through recent history?
      When i see people like Bill Bass saying “he has not arrived at his proposal lightly or frivolously , he is a realist , and a careful analytical thinker to boot” i just have to laugh, the same guy complaining about trolls on this site 2 days ago, knobber.
      From a 30 year military insight you guys do not have a friggin clue, and if i was giving advice on military intervention in this country i would say to keep well away.
      People seem to think that what is happening here is a big deal, and from a real world politik no body gives a damn.
      The sooner you start realising this, the better, but thats just my opinion, being non Veno, to most here it will mean shit, ……….point made.

      • And lets see Haussman talk about how Simon Zerba is going to find nearly one billion $ per month for debt repayments over the next 12 months.
        That he can discuss rather than bizarre military intervention.
        As Bill Bass yet again says this may take “some serious thinking …!!” from Haussman just not on from his non existant military knowledge.
        From someones name does not come wisdom!

      • Hey Crux,

        I give it to you, you are spot on. Hausmann approach is…:

        At is worst a click bait (he needs to stay in the collective memory).

        Mid-ground is that he is saying something that it is kinda known. You know, this is the end of the tunnel, we are dealing with thugs and the opposition is not different than the government, full of personal interests and corruption. So, Hausmann is in a particular way confronting the facts that the elected opposition betrayed the people thus is no longer viable in its current form, the government is in bed with the military hands deep in crime and corruption hence they will not allow any “legal” exits, and there is a lack of any credible native violent movements to confront the entrenched military. So it is an impossible situation that god and/or the Marines will only solve. – No news here in my opinion.

        At its best, and that is my hope, he throw that article to shake the bullshit around the negotiations in Dominican Republic and breathe some new air to the Trump administration onto retaking the Venezuelan case, at least publicly. If Hausmann is smart as some people say, he may be seeing that 2018 is the year of the worst economic crisis the country is about to see, that the powerless AN will now have to elect a new head out of the arguably biggest weak party (next in turn), and that the opposition inner fighting may indeed allow (via primary elections) the advent of Lorenzo Mendoza as presidential candidate (discarding Allup – The Traitor, Capriles – The Repeat Offender, Lopez – The Disconnected, Falcon – The Ambivalent, Ledezma – The other White Meat, and Rosales – The Brief).

        My wild guess, out of the mountain of bullshit most recently written here, is that Hausmann long game may be to bring back to the table the possibility of foreign invasion (remote but mathematically possible as you have asserted). Thus, the government thugs would have to factor that in as they know for sure, that this year without money, they won’t be able to control the people. Hence a controlled exit would be their best bet, when I mean controlled I mean protection from prosecution once change of government is realized or inevitable.

        I don’t know, but what I do know is that the end of January and February tend to be eventful in Venezuela:

        Jan 23, 1958 – Perez Jimenez is out
        Feb 27, 1989 – El Caracazo
        Feb 4, 1992 – Chavez first coup attempt
        Jan 1994 – Banco Latino goes Bankrupt starting the 94-95 Bank Crisis
        Feb 2003 – End of the national strike
        Jan-Feb 2013 – The zenith of the show of Chavez last days (he will die in March)

      • Hausman, who as a man who works with numbers, i find is just so lazy here, you can fool most people but to me knowledge is power, for example.

        “The failure of Operation Market Garden in September 1944, immortalized in the book and film A Bridge Too Far, led to famine in the Netherlands in the winter of 1944-1945. Today’s Venezuelan famine is already worse.”

        Why talk bollocks when talking figures, all historical reference to famine in the Netherlands post Market Garden are around 18 000 deaths. We have not had that in an annum period, so why parallel the figures to try to make a point, especially as he is an economist and he is wrong on the numbers.
        The other point to note bearing in mind he is talking Military intervention, is that the Allies had nearly 17 000 casualties during this operation with most being British.

        So you have to ask the question why bring up such stupid parallels to show your point
        Military planners will justly not be taking any notice what so ever of what Hausman says…..and rightly so.
        So to me this whole article is a false horizon. And shows complete naivety when discussing such an entrenched scenario.
        Being the festive season i thought it was a joke that fell out of a christmas cracker.

      • Remember from the UN perspective re Grenada

        “It managed to be a success despite condemn by the United Nations,”

        Less than 45% of countries that make up the UN are functioning democracies, this is extremely important re world affairs and Venezuela. Especially as the number year on year is reducing…..so lets look at the future!

  3. It is not fiction to think that the regime will not recognize an electoral lost: they already have done it.
    The most important was the national asembly in 2015. The people voted for a change (the asembly could change TSJ , CNE and Moral Power) but the regime did not respect the result.
    They will not do it, never, no matter what.

    • “It is not fiction to think that the regime will not recognize an electoral lost: they already have done it.”

      They have done it and they WILL do it again (no ifs or buts). Whoever says otherwise is a full or is lying. Knowing this as a fact, what do you do?

  4. I think that Dr Haussmann is fully aware of the difficulties of implementing his suggestion , he has not arrived at his proposal lightly or frivolously , he is a realist , and a careful analytical thinker to boot but being a realist sometimes means going for something really bold and challenging as the only option left . If not this , then what can the huge multitude of people wanting a regime change do ……!! Everything has been tried and the regime has simply sabotaged or blocked other efforts without any regard for the niceties of civilized values ……..!! Maybe it doenst work but there is just that odd chance that in time something will happen …….if the nice oppo organizers go through the conventional protocols again and again and gain nothing , then what do they lose if they try something perhaps more potent ……!! . This needs not outright rejection but some serious thinking …!!

  5. No foreign power will spend blood and treasure for a mess that Venezuelans have made.

    I also hold the view that with 19 years of power Chavismo has built a military that is to its ‘likeness and image’, an officer core of corrupt thugs and useful idiots. As for the military, there is no reason, so far, to take over power directly. As it stands, Maduro y su combo has given them EVERYTHING they would ask, but most importantly Maduro will be the scapegoat offered to Venezuela when the situation becomes untenable (refer to Rene Girard scapegoat theory). With this sacrifice they figure the misdeeds of these years will be paid up. So Maduro is very useful.

    In the meantime, the military can keep trying to bring the Chavista Utopia to pass. So Orwell’s Animal Farm plays out in spades.

    The real problem for the Chavista military are the bad ideas and the misgovernment that follows. The least a dictatorship must be is effective in running the country and here they fail miserably. They are now reaping the consequences of their monetary policy, state controlled economy and sacking of PDVSA. There is nothing else to plunder and a hungery populace to repress.

    This has happened in other Latin American countries, pretty much in the same way. Sure someone made the objection that this is a left wing dictatorship and history shows that their are more insidious, but I think Cuba and North Korea have never tasted any better so they settle. Venezuelan’s instead know that life was better just a few years ago.

    If I were to draw a comparison it would be to Iran. With a well developed middle class which profoundly dislikes the Mullahs they have been ineffective in overthrowing them. The reason is that there are true believers in the theocracy back in the slums and lost towns, akin to the Chavistas (read some Aporrea if you want to meet one), but I wish to think that Pernilgate may have even broken that bond.

    • “No foreign power will spend blood and treasure for a mess that Venezuelans have made.”

      It wasn’t “made by the venezuelans”, it’s a cuban invasion.

  6. Invade at 9:00 AM, 1st of January, any year, and other than a random drunk or two throwing an empty bottle, the place is yours without a fight because the entire country is passed-out asleep.

    I’ve never seen anything like it.

  7. Why all the massive hype about this? I see three outcomes: a Zimbabwe that lasts for decades, the PSUV eases Maduro out or a mercifully quicker end of unknown origin that no one expects (the lesser of the three). Mil option makes NO SENSE for ANYONE or would anyone be willing to pay the price.

  8. No flipping way.

    While it would be over in a matter of hours, it won’t happen. American will not shed another drop of their sons blood for another group of ingrates. Because no matter how quickly the VZ military stands down, there are going to be some wild-ass colectivos and other Chavista Kool-Aid drinkers who will “die for the revolution” and take a few of our boys with them.

    If your people won’t rise up for themselves, count us out.

    Besides, from what I read earlier today, the morale in your Armed Forces is pretty low, when a Major General has to scold his troops, and his troops scold him back.

    • “…and take a few of our boys with them.”

      You don’t even need to risk human lives for that, stop thinking wars are still like WW1, where soldiers meet directly in the field, they send now drones to carpet-bomb the enemies and they’re done.

      • I see enough of it on non-Chavista sources. The point being, I don’t see El Pueblo rising to the occasion. I see scattered news stories about whinging Chavistas pissed off about no “free” toys and no “free” food. The police shows up, and they scatter like cockroaches. Give them freebies, and they are just fat and happy Marxist ingrates who would sell their soul for a plate of grub.

        When they start manning the barricades and spilling their blood, with colectivos going at it with their brothers in the GNB… come back and we’ll talk.

        Venezuela is not worth it. Venezuela has nothing for America.

          • Point my wife and I in the right direction.

            DolarToday is our first stop every morning to get the quick dirt, followed by Infobae, el nacional, el cooperante, caraota digital, el impulso, noticiero digital and la patilla.

            Where are the people who voted Chavista in the past marching down the broad avenues?

            I saw an article the other day. Some old Chavista woman was bitching about how upset she was that she didn’t get her FREE PERNIL. She said (paraphrasing), “I’m 100% Chavista, I admit it! But we support Maduro only as long as we get our free shit! If he stops giving us free shit, we will stop supporting him!”

            That quote from that old woman sent me and my wife to the FUCKING MOON with rage.

            When I see her picking up a gun and shooting at the red shirts, then I become a believer.

          • “I saw an article the other day. Some old Chavista woman was bitching about how upset she was that she didn’t get her FREE PERNIL. ”

            Because she thought the pork was free, the pork was actually bought, the box that contained it costed 300.000 Bs, chavistas never give anything for free.

            The people even after they paid were swindled out of their money, as the clap commitees claimed that “the right wingers stole the pork, so bad luck, wait after maduro wins the election in march, maybe then you’ll have a chance to get the pork you paid for in april”

            Ah, and when people protested, this was the chavistas’ answer: BULLET-TO-THE-FACE-ANOL:

            http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/sucesos/gnb-mato-embarazada-que-protestaba-por-pernil-junquito_217335

            Disclaimer: The GNB was NOT drunk, that was a claim the other GNBs made up to cover up the fact that they’re outright killing anyone who dares to protest in Venezuela, so much for that “excessive freedom of speech…”

            In any case, anyone who still thinks that every person in Venezuela is chavista and thus “deserves chavismo for being a lambucio” is only showing a deep content and possible hatred towards Venezuela.

          • It appears that I am getting my information from reliable, non-Chavista sources then?

            When I see El Pueblo’s Chavista blood running red in the streets from any of these sources, I will become a believer that Venezuela needs outside intervention.

            Until then, I expect to be perpetually entertained by yet more irritated Chavista voters caterwauling about lack of free X or reduced cost Y or subsidized Z… but not the dearth of democracy or complete paucity of liberty.

          • “They promised us the pork hind legs, chicken, meat,” Aracelis Hinojosa told CNN, “but nothing has been delivered…. I am 100% Chavista, I don’t deny that, but the same way that we have voted for the President, we can also stop [supporting him],” said Hinojosa.

            http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/28/americas/venezuela-portugal-christmas-sabotage/index.html

            This is what sent my wife and I into f*cking orbit. THIS is why American troops should never step ONE FOOT onto Venezuelan soil until a few thousand dumb bitches like this have lost a few liters of blood defending their own liberty. Her answer to starving to death? Not vote for the person who doesn’t deliver freebies!

            As a former military man, I would be enraged if I (or my brothers/sister in arms) had to fight and die for her desire to be an unrepentant lazy slovenly Communist sandbagging slacker.

          • “It appears that I am getting my information from reliable, non-Chavista sources then”

            No, because you still think people protest for “free stuff”

  9. TRIGGER WARNING

    I prefer the option of a foreign military intervention, not because I’m too lazy to fly home, get a riffle and start shooting down these corrupt communist bastards, heck I’ll go down myself if that means taking a whole bunch of them with me.

    The reality is, the poor, the mestizo class, the lumpen, the proletariat whatever you want to call them, they, are not ready to be free, they never were. Is hard to instill the concept of freedom to someone who is content in having a bag of CLAP once in a while. These are just domesticated pets.

    While yes, I do support a FOREIGN military intervention in Venezuela, the next republic would need to remove the privilege of VOTE to anyone in the country, and reinstate this privilege once people aren’t stupid enough to vote against their own interest.

  10. I’m one of those nuts who still thinks a U.S. military intervention is still very possible, albeit a limited one.

    And no, I have absolutely no reason for believing this. It’s just a gut feeling, especially studying, and admiring, Trump’s way of doing things.

    I just wish we would see SOME balls from more Venezuelans in the development of a violent resistance. Limited actions that still command huge attention and move the political football down the field.

    And this brings me to another dilemma in my understanding:

    Why isn’t the CIA operating in this arena to get it going? Is the Venezuela opposition so pitiful that Washington realizes this route is a lost cause?

  11. This intervention bit would basically be a US operation with some side help from a few other countries (brazil maybe colombia ) , it doesnt have to involve boots on the ground except perhaps on a very limited scale , selective drone attacks , a blockade of certain types of imports , the creation of some navigational hazards in certain strategic choke points , dont have too high an idea of our militarys disposition or capacity to oppose such intervention , much less of the capacity of the armed hoods to be more than a temporary nuisance , they are more noise than anything , If Rodriguez Torres hadnt been fired he would have handled them in no time ……. The US have loads of information and evidence on the shenagigans and drugtrafficking of the regimes kingpins , they themselves are more divided than they let know , international isntitutions have already deligitimized the regime very publicly from human right violations to money laundering to eponimous involvement in all sorts of criminal activities on a very large scale ….., Trump has said that saving Venezuelan democracy is among his top three intermational objective together with handling North Korean and Irani nuclear ambitions , he has pointed out very clearly that ‘Venezuela isnt that far away from the US (meaning military operations dont involve the complexity of those in the middle east ) , he talks to every latam president he meets or calls about the growing venezuelan deterioration (the last one was Pinera) , the humanitarian crisis is very real and getting worse , much worse , 2018 is going to be a frightful year …….whatever the reluctance of govts to participate in a military intervention there isnt that much that they can do to prevent the US from staging one . But the big question is …..from what we know of the regime is there a better alternative …….., doesnt seem so …..we might not like it , but can we truly discard it altogether , Trump is not Obama , he can really go for some bold intiatives and isnt afraid of the consequences …..also he has a way of carrying US popular opinion that very few past leaders had ,,,,,,,,One thing history tells us is that Venezuelans tend to side with the winner in any situation whatever their past posturings ……Maduro is no Chavez , he pretends to represent Chavez but he is a flop at it , there is no president who is most loathed and despised than him , does anyone think that people will give up their lives to defend his continued rule …!! It takes some time to get used to the idea but it isnt as troublesome when you get used to it …..!! Give it time !!

    • “it doesnt have to involve boots on the ground except perhaps on a very limited scale , selective drone attacks , a blockade of certain types of imports , the creation of some navigational hazards in certain strategic choke points ”

      Months ago I commented on these pages that this sort of military action (blockade, targeted cruise missle and drone strikes) would be enough to overthrow this regime and was blasted by our leftist posters for my stupidity. Of course, I fully recognize that the actual overthrow would likely be far easier than cleaning up the mess sure to follow…….think Iraq.

      “does anyone think that people will give up their lives to defend his (Maduro’s) continued rule”

      Imagine starting a military operation with a clear message from the US Armed Forces to the GNB troops: Stand down and you will not be attacked, leave your bases and you will be destroyed.

      Hellfire missles have a way a testing a foot soldier’s loyalties.

      “One thing history tells us is that Venezuelans tend to side with the winner in any situation whatever their past posturings”

      This is spot-on…..not only in national and international affairs, but right down to their daily lives………in my dealings with conflicts at the business level, I’ve repeatedly seen them side not with who they believe was right, but who they believed would come out on top.

      • The Big problem is that IF Col helps, is what tangible thing would we get in return??? Aside from Anexation (the liberated states become departments, free market economies, they can keep caracas if they want). All the Oil contracts going to the USA when blood will be sacrficed will not do.

  12. The idea that it is not “troublesome” to some is exactly the problem. Occupation and State building is always troublesome, time consuming and complicated not to mention deadly and expensive. This has to be admitted for the idea to be discussed in realistic manner.

  13. “but why would world leaders devote their blood and treasure to our fight? ”

    Because otherwise they’ll have yihadists blowing up thousands of people daily in their countries.

    • I would answer it this way:

      Trump is not a heartless bastard as so many think. His Syrian bombings in response to chemical weapons attacks affecting children really touched him. Look at the news clips. No acting there. He had at his disposal the machinery to stop it. And he did.

      He gets his briefings every day…he knows about the thousands of deaths annually in VZ by preventable modern day practices (proper diet, medicines and health care, crime prevention)…and he views it in the context of The Holocaust.

      Trump fucking cares what’s going on there now, but the homeland security aspect, albeit a real threat, isn’t his main motivation.

      • The homeland security aspect is the way to sell it to the voters.

        Just look at how many people agreed with George W Bush’s invasion on Irak and Afghanistan right after the 9/11.

        Yeah, they bitch a lot about it now, but at first, damn, almost the whole country was all about ousting Saddam and the taliban, regardless of the results.

        And now that daesh is killing people left and right, they might become a notorious target as alquaeda and the taliban were before.

        • Ahhh…

          But now you came back to my main point about Trump’s personality:

          He rarely cares about selling his ideas to the voters. He’s in, and does what he wants.

          I never saw a guy so unconcerned about winning a second term. Hell, the way he behaved during the campaign, it seemed he didn’t really care about winning a FIRST term.

          Yet he did.

  14. In the end, the reason – or at least A reason – that foreign governments won’t intervene is that the majority of Venezuelans wouldn’t understand nor yet appreciate an actual democracy, free market, etc. When much of the country is whining about not getting free swine for Christmas, and the toys promised them by the government, this hardly paints a picture of a culture hip on self-determination and self-sufficiency. Ambition has been swapped out for patronism, where the Cacique (the big man, whoever he is) takes care of his children by way of the “free” oil money that is the countries natural boon. The amazing thing is that the professional class, the skilled workers still keep working when paid in paper money that has no spending power. But bad as things are now, there’s billions of bonds coming due soon and there’s no talk about renegotiation. That’s a bullet Maduro cannot keep dodging nor pay down with his ludicrous Petro. Anyone can see that both the government and a large percentage of the population are totally overmatched by modern times and the world economy. My sense is that a solution has to come from inside, and as someone else mentioned recently, it will all boil down to education.

  15. A foreign intervention would only have a minor chance of happening if first venezuelans start a civil war. Which is the only real alternative left, apart from total submission to the dictatorship. All the rest seems pointless at this stage.

  16. Yeah, we all saw how well it ended for those countries like Iraq and Libia where the US “exported” democracy. They are now a total mess in the hands of terrorist groups. And any US foreign military intervention would be made only on premise that they are getting their hands on Venenuela oil reserve, not certainly to help venezuelan people.

    • In the grand scheme of things, Venezuela’s oil reserves are worth less today than they’ve ever been worth. Even reservoirs that produe “light” crude…….here meaning anything above about 25 API, which is still way heavier than average US produced crudes……….have been so damaged by poor management techniques that their full potential may never be met.

    • “… we all saw how well it ended for…”

      Good excuse, dude, good excuse.

      Better to have the people in Venezuela slaughtered by hundreds of thousands like flies in any amount of ways chavismo can imagine.

      ANYTHING is better than chavismo.

    • Give the oil reserves in exchange for the Americans to overthrow the psychopaths that rule Venezuela? I think it’s worth it. It would come cheap.

  17. I disagree with military intervention being out of the question. It’s just too profitable not to do it. The amount of resources that Venezuela has and it’s geographical position aren’t like any other place on the globe relative to the U.S’s location.

    The WH has to sell the benefits to the higher elite and sell the threat levels to the average citizen.

    Running constant news stories about jihad sleepers starting cells in Venezuela and spreading terrorist groups that will eventually attack the U.S sell that. (Mostly true)

  18. OTOH, it is too profitable for any OPEC member, or Russia, or the USA to intervene. The implosion of BS Venezuela and pdvsa supports oil prices and current production cuts, saving other country’s budgets. Isn’t it ironic Venezuela was the founding OPEC member in favor of managing production to optimize profits, and now the collapse is killing Venezulans.

    The one downside to date, is Venezuela exporting the best and brightest, hardest workers of their population, to the benefit of receiving countries. Maybe when malandros and prans start to leave other countries may pay attention.

    Expect no help. Save yourselves or perish.

    BS = bolivarian socialist, or just bullshit.

  19. I don’t want my country’s blood and treasure being spent on Venezuela. And I have family in Venezuela. I could imagine how the average person feels.

    Plus, how does it fit “America First”?

    Not gonna happen unless led by LatAm countries and their troops…which will never happen.

      • There is no terrorism. You have a half-assed Cuban/Marxist dictatorship who is on its last legs. Soon enough, it won’t be able to rub two worthless Bolivar notes together to pay off its 4000+ Cuban indoctrinated generals. The troops are already revolting

        https://elcooperante.com/jefe-de-la-redi-capital-trato-de-liderar-salutacion-de-fin-de-ano-y-esto-le-gritaron-los-militares/

        When the shitstorm finally arrives and Chavismo is ash canned, it is going to be up to the remaining educated Venezuelans to disarm the military (defund them first, sell their equipment second) and re-educate the Dumb Masses about how Chavismo brought an entirely wealthy nation to its knees. (good luck with THAT!). After that, some vigilante justice may have to be the order of the day for the malandros and colectivos. Finally, you might want to create a communal toilet where El Finados mausoleum is currently located.Bulldoze it and bury his ass under 50 tons of imported pernil shit.

        I (as well as most Americans) am content to see about 50,000 Venezuelans die gloriously in battle for their own beloved country before the United States even considers sending in ONE US troop.

          • Like I said. When about 50,000 Venezuelans die fighting for freedom in Venezuela, then we can discuss ONE American boot hitting the ground.

            If El Pueblo don’t give a fuck about their liberty, why should anyone else?

  20. First of all, the regime covered its ass and even all the new officers (gobernadores and alcaldes) were forced to accept the anc; which means that a new president (if ever happens) will be forced to become another puppet of the anc or will end as Guanipa in Zulia.

    Indeed, the regime is not going anywhere “por las buenas”.

    Now, the fourth months battle last year was a big win for the fanb, especially the gnb, which as a prize got pdvsa. This means that there is an army that is fighting for its “botin” and now that the “botin” is in its hands, the people alone cannot oust them (fanb, gnb).

    So only two possibilities remained: a big crack that splits the regime in two sides, wherein both sides are balanced (Al Capone vs Bugs Moran); or a foreign power intervened. Because at the end of the day, it will be an army vs another army. The people did their best during months, but they are alone, no weapons, against a gang that controls all the weapons: fanb, colectivos, hampa, farc, all of them united against the people ; the whole world witnessed how the regime treated the people.

    That’s why some politicians decided for “si no puedes con ellos únete a ellos” and decided to go for a gobernación or alcaldía and even the winners accepted the anc. Other politicians also joined the government and keep begging for mercy, meanwhile the phrase “please open the canal humanitario” has become the biggest joke!, as if the people are suffering because a natural disaster or an international war. No, It’s the terror inflicted by the regime against the people what created this hell. So asking the devil for canal humanitario is really pathetic.

    The people are even loner than ever. As such, looking for the only option remaining is not crazy.

    • Pacts with chavismo are worthless, even people like luisa ortega and gustavo cisneros can come to public TV and claim that maduro and all the chavista regime must be demolished if they see the ship is sinking despite themselves having been some of the most zealous chavistas there.

  21. A question, as I’m not an expert in SA or LA history. When was the last time a SA or LA army fired on anyone other than their own pueblo? and The Falklands conflict doesn’t count.

  22. “How could the countries of this imaginary coalition sell this to their electorates back home?”

    They can point the actual part of the problem that might affect them:

    “Venezuela has become an operations base for international yihadist terrorism, so we’ll expect more terrorists with venezuelan passports to infiltrate our countries to kill our fellow countrymen”

  23. So much butthurt about that silly notion of “sovereignity” and “venezuelans must do it themselves”.

    Get real, folks:

    Forget that stupid “venezuelans will free themselves because Bolívar’s blood”, no one will dare to face the colectivos unarmed, period.

    Forget that “other countries don’t care and won’t spend resources on another country”, so much bitching about the conflict in the middle east and the countries still are doing war there, so those countries’ people’s voice matters nothing on that issue.

    Venezuela has been turned by chavismo into a base for terrorism, if you think you’re safe and cozy saying “Venezuela doesn’t matter, terrorists are fake news” good luck when some asshole barks “allahackabaarrrrbrbrbr” and kills a dozen muricans or brithishs folks out of the blue.

    It’s better to sacrifice about 5-10 thousand venezuelans in a quick operation that sweeps chavismo’s leadership off the way than letting chavismo slaughter 35.000 people this year.

  24. Venezuelans abroad have an elitist approach to the Venezuelan situation, they have no sense of urgency. They care, but not in a desperate way. They have food and safety in their countries.

    It’s not uncommon to witness expats saying that a military intervention is absurd, while the ones still in Venezuela would gladly supply the USAF with the correct GPS coordinates for an airstrike in their own neighbourhoods.

    Ricardo Hausmann is a bit late in calling for a military intervention, but he must be hearing horrible personal accounts from relatives affected directly by Chavismo, not long ago he had a relative (a journalist) jailed in a Chavista dungeon, and that’s pretty much the only thing that makes people like him come down of their high horses.

    As Venezuela keeps sinking and more bodies pile up, we will hear more and more “Ricardo Hausmanns” calling for a military intervention. Political regimes like Chavismo tend to radicalize their victims as frustration and anger amass, and what used to be ridiculed opinions straight from “El Cafetal” become mainstream.

    Unfortunately, human bodies deprived of food and medicine can’t wait for the politicians in the region (mostly anti-US, anti-Trump leftists) to do what’s expected from them. Venezuela is the Titanic slowly sinking in the darkness of the ocean, forgotten by everyone, with only God as witness of the ship’s demise, and some of the passengers, the sanity far gone, screaming to the skies: “DON’T SEND HELP! WE DON’T WANT A BLOODBATH!”

    • “DON’T SEND HELP! WE DON’T WANT A BLOODBATH!”

      They don’t want a bloodbath that can be SEEN and documented.

      Lots of people are perfectly fine with the silent genocide of 30.000 people each year.

  25. So, just assuming that Maduro and all the apparatus of his “government” magically and peacefully disappear when the first foreign troops show up. Then what?
    – Who is going to run the mess called Venezuela? Perhaps, some of the correspondents on this page who took their money and ran to other locations and now pontificate from their comfortable new addresses? [I’m not criticizing, I would probably have done the same to give my family a better life.]
    – Who is going to provide the funds to restore the currency, the infrastructure and the oil industry? There is neither Marshall Plan to provide the billions needed for recovery nor Cold War to provide a political incentive to support Venezuela.

    This is a dream – and reading much of the writings here (and maybe even responding) is a waste of time and effort.

  26. War has been the bread and butter of how social affairs in regards to power have been conducted since the dawn of humanity. You can even said that War is an integral part of the human experience just as natural as other species fight for food or reproduction.
    If you want to have a better, more civilized world and get rid of the bad guys you need to come to the realization that ACTION is needed and that action is WAR and yes some will get hurt but the world will be better off after victory.
    So we Venezuelans want to have our country back or not?
    Chavismo have left us with the ultimate option and we need to execute by any means necessary or we will simply lost our country for years or decades to come.

  27. An understandable gut reaction to the news and scenes of suffering out of Venezuela is to think: someone should invade and fix this. I have that feeling with regularity. It is a fantasy, not a realistic plan. When expressed by leaders, it puts opposition forces within Venezuela in the difficult position of having to distance themselves from their otherwise natural allies.

    Professor Hausmann’s history is selective and his historical comparisons are inapt. Venezuela is not Nazi occupied Holland. Venezuela is not the Ukrainian genocide of millions under Stalin. We may as well invoke weapons of mass destruction if we are going to make those kinds of analogies. Venezuela is not Grenada or Panama. It is a large, complex country with deep social divisions that exist to this day, with a fairly dysfunctional and disunified opposition. The “coalition of the willing” that would follow the USA into Venezuela would at this time involve at best, Guatemala and the Phillipines- the Trump administration is succeeding spectacularly in alienating its closest allies and undermining their trust. Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, the other regional powers, would have no interest in occupying Venezuela. Nation building, democracy building, or even just getting rid of the bad guys, has failed spectacularly and at great cost in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all still paying a deep price for those unsuccessful operations. Venezuela is not North Korea- for starters, its largest market and trading partner is not China or Russia, it is to this day the USA.

    I do not believe Venezuela has no options except to invite an invasion. It may be the case that, down the road, foreign troops may be needed on Venezuelan soil as part of a negotiated solution and at the invitation of both sides to such an agreement. But that is very different from the opposition unilaterally giving an invasion its blessing, and such an occupier would quickly find itself embroiled in a fractious mess, with its opposition backers quickly deprived of any credibility whatsoever.

    I believe there are many ways that more outside pressure can be brought to bear on this regime, and its foreign backers. I agree with Hausmann to the extent that the humanitarian situation is horrible in Venezuela, and it could rapidly become much worse. The situation is urgent, but the urgency of the situation is not an argument to support what he is suggesting, and does not make it any more realistic. I do not agree that the opposition has exhausted its options. History shows that a regime like this can be brought to negotiate a transition through a combination of internal and external pressure.

    But in any event, democracy and rule of law cannot be imposed by an occupying force in a country like Venezuela, and even if it could, the notion that there might be an outside force willing to invade and occupy Venezuela is not remotely realistic.

  28. Civil war will start soon or later anyway. Better if they act now before the lords of pernil make their move. That´s perhaps the best compelling argument

  29. I also think that a foreign military intervention is almost impossible. But this scenario of a Syria in Venezuela would be quite implausible. In a foreign operation commanded by the United States or the UN the FANB would fall quickly, because despite the billions of dollars spent the Venezuelan military is very fragile, like the other South American countries (with the exception of Colombia). And the chavista militias and collectives would also not engage with foreign professional militaries. Chavistas are only brave against the unarmed opposition.

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