Miami Venezuelans vs. Mary Landrieu


ProtestasMiamiAh, Miami Venezuelans. In their free time, when they are not dodging accusations of being participants in devious acts, they are actually … doing their job. Going to vote. Organizing rallies. And yes, protesting against that chavista tool, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu.

You’re probably familiar with Landrieu’s underhanded maneuver to protect Venezuelan human rights violators and do Citgo’s bidding in the halls of the Senate – why, there are even emails! She is so deceitful on this issue, she is even sticking up for her choice. She is even asking for the language to change – basically saying that the bill should exempt foreigners who do business with the US from sanctions, effectively making the bill toothless since all human rights violators in the Venezuelan government do business with the US.

A few weeks ago, when this broke out, I reached out to the Venezuelan community in Louisiana, and they basically shrugged their shoulders.

Well, at least the Miami crowd does the job the Louisiana crowd is too lazy to do. When Landrieu was in town for a fund-raiser, a group of Venezuelans in Miami let their displeasure be known. Thanks guys.

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  1. Just so you’re clear about Sen. Landrieu’s indefensible position:

    “After a tour of Citgo’s refinery on Thursday, Landrieu said the bill could be changed in one of two ways to impose sanctions without costing jobs. Landrieu has asked that Menendez remove language that enables the president to impose sanctions on people who he believes knowingly assisted, sponsored or provided “significant financial material or technological support for” those who ordered, controlled or directed acts of violence against the protesters, or ordered their arrest or prosecution because they exercised their freedom of expression or assembly.

    If Menendez rejects the request, Landrieu said she would propose an amendment that would exempt U.S. citizens — or foreigners who do business with them — from the sanctions imposed in the bill.”

    Basically, Landrieu is protecting the few hotshot Venezuelans who work at Citgo and provide dollars so that Nicolás Maduro can tear gas protesters. The only jobs she’s really worried about … are the jobs of the enchufado elites that give money toher campaign.

    She’s worse than we suspected.

    • It’s like she walked straight out of a hollywood movie where a corrupt politician is screweing everybody’s lives just to get another few dollars for her re-election.

  2. To be “fair”, Landrieu is just a drop in the bucket. Oil has enormous influence in Louisiana. See for instance a recent article in the NYT magazine:

    Read it and get a sense for how similar things are in Louisiana and Venezuela. A couple of excerpts:

    “The oil and gas industry has extracted about $470 billion in natural resources from the state in the last two decades, with the tacit blessing of the federal and state governments and without significant opposition from environmental groups. Oil and gas is, after all, Louisiana’s leading industry, responsible for around a billion dollars in annual tax revenue.”

    “And at some point along the way, the state, which has the oil and gas, ceded political control to the industry, which needs the oil and gas. Environmental activists have referred to Louisiana as “a petrocolonial state,” but for much of the last century, the petroimperium has largely been seen locally as a benign patriarch. Oil and gas is one of the state’s largest industries, responsible for 65,000 jobs. (An industry estimate, which takes into account “indirect” economic impacts, puts the figure at 300,000.) “If you want to know what the Louisiana economy might be without oil,” said Andy Horowitz, a history professor at Tulane, “look at Mississippi.”

    And yet the fact that it is at all possible to exert pressure on politicians in the USA (particularly when you stem from the “opposition”) and on occasion obtain a favorable outcome speaks volumes for how much more functional the “imperial” system is compared to the black hole of madurismo.

  3. If Landrieu would just shut up and go away, the impending fire sale of Citgo would go faster. Every time she tries to protect Citgo, its value increases. Citgo should not be owned by a country antagonistic to the U.S.

    Landrieu is a heretic to accept campaign funds from a foreign country. Time to open her books.

    I wonder if whoever purchases Citgo intends to maintain its presence in Louisianna?

    One more item- If a foreign business owner can simply do business with the U.S. to avoid sanctions due to human rights violations, then guess what. All of these foreign businesses will try to do a little bit of business with the U.S. to protect their assets.

    • “Landrieu is a heretic to accept campaign funds from a foreign country. Time to open her books.”

      She is hardly unique and certainly not a heretic. The biggest offender is AIPAC, which gives generously to parties on both sides of the aisle,and uses its war chest to punish politicians who question Likud policy. You can count the number of national politicians who have gone on record protesting Israeli policy on one hand. (whether one thinks they should be protesting those policies or not is another issue entirely and unimportant to the current discussion)

      In any event, foreign cash in campaigns is wrong, and corrupts democracy. Politicians should not be beholden to foreign interest groups anymore than they should be to multinational corporations….but as long as cleaning up campaign financing is a partisan issue, no process will be made in the US.

  4. And this additional excerpt is absolutely precious:

    ” “I’m elected by the people in my district. They know who I am. They know what industry I’m in. They choose to send me there. It’s their right to make that decision — not yours, not anyone else’s. People in the oil and gas industry do support me because, yes, I’ve been in the industry and, yes, I understand them. That’s important to them.” He continued: “Let me tell you something: There are a whole lot of people in this state that have raised their children and got their education based on their experience in the oil and gas industry. At one time, 70 or 80 percent of our entire budget and employment came from that industry. If you took all those people out of the government here, you wouldn’t have much left.””

      • Many of the same factors that made chavismo into a plausible disaster drives politics in the USA. IMHO you are not elected to do whatever you want but to capture your consituents interests (although your interpretation of what these may be may vary). Politicians have to be attuned to their constituencies interests. On the other hand campaign financing is naturally a problem, you only get re-elected if you can finance a campaign.

      • Perhaps for the record also: it just seems too easy to condemn Landrieu for taking a posture in favor of (presumably) her constituents’ interests. What exactly is happening behind closed doors is of course the question. How is she making the political calculus, what threats or offers have been thrown? How would Citgo retaliate or be affected? And might this also be a case of oneupmanship, acting the contrarian to (Republican) Marco Rubio?

        Of course there is an underlying problem that reflects the role of a politician. She’s not making decisions based on some deep seated personal convictions about what is right or wrong in the sphere of international or Venezuelan politics or human rights (most politicians in the USA turn with the prevailing winds of public opinion). Marco Rubio has enough Venezuelan (and Cuban) constituents in his district that he has to give a damn about what is happening to the opposition in Venezuela. She also mirrors local and national politics, and in her case they reflect an opinion that Citgo is most important.

  5. I consider the sanctions bill to be grandstanding by Mario Rubio, basically a way to create a wedge issue for the elections. Even if it were to pass, none of the bad guys would have seizable assets in the US by then anyway.

    More importantly, sanctions are a tool of foreign policy, and should not be imposed by Congress. The President and the State Department should determine foreign policy, independent of whether a diaspora gets riled up by what’s happening back home. Sometimes, it will be useful to the US foreign policy to ignore human rights violations (Saudi Arabia); other times it won’t.

    Since the Republican candidate is far worse on issues actually more critical to Louisiana’s citizens than Venezuela is, ranting about her is misplaced partisanship. Do you really think a wise Louisiana voter should vote against human rights at home, for example for women or gays, because of h.r. violations in Venezuela?

    • Looks to me like her opponent Bill Cassidy’s main legislative efforts have been around oil and gas interests. So to your list we might add, which is more important, EPA regulations to address global warning concerns, or Marco Rubio’s sanctions…

      In other words, there are no angels in this race, apparently.

    • Jeffry, your idea that it is grandstanding is B.S. Marco Rubio’s parents fled Castro’s Cuba…For him it is incredibly personal and in all reality, he would win reelection as Florida’s senator with or without the issue…

      Also, your idea that if the Dems are standing up for human rights in the US is again B.S. Sorry, but you are trying to use wedge issues to divide people and in all reality if Dems are not willing to stand up for Venezuelans citizens, watch the Venezuelan’s vote in this country slip to the Republicans just like the Cubans slipped to the Republicans 50 years ago…


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