This, from a press conference today by Commander General John F. Kelly (USMC), U.S. Southern Command, simply defies parody:
The real shame of it is, of course, they have the second-largest oil reserves in the world. If it — if it continues to degrade, I’m — here’s where I am concerned. There are many, many countries in Latin America that take virtually free fuel, Petrocaribe, that Chavez and now Maduro provides, Venezuela, Colombia, Jamaica — not Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, places like that. These small, small countries rely on — on the oil more or less free. Their economies would, I think, collapse if they didn’t get the oil.
So if we see a continued degradation — you know, right now, I think the inflation rate is 56 percent. That is impossible to sustain that in any economy. So if he starts to — if they make a decision to stop the flow of relatively or all but free oil to these smaller economies, and those economies fail, then that — that would have certainly a migration impact, and you know where they’re coming, and — and particularly Cuba. I mean, Cuba is very dependent on the Petrocaribe, as is Nicaragua, and if that was turned off, I think there would be some real repercussions economically. But, again, I’m — I’m a military guy and — just a simple military guy trying to do a job. I don’t understand the economy — economic thing very well. But we’re watching. And I just wish the Venezuelan people well.
Was this a freelance burrada? A calculated gambit? An actual strategic calculus? Some mix of the above?
Is there some kind of back-channel through which the U.S. military is warning Maduro that under no circumstances shall he consider cutting off the Cuban oil giveaway? Has the whole world gone friggin’ insane?!
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