Today, we take a break from our viral coverage of the U.S. Executive to look at Congress [note to Venezuelan readers: in other countries, such as the U.S., the legislative power is allowed to exist], because nothing makes this pitiyanki happier than seeing chavista kleptocrats sanctioned in all their human-rights-violating glory.

The AP’s Josh Goodman reports that a bipartisan group of 34 lawmakers signed a letter urging President Trump to add more offenders to the list of Venezuelan government and military officials that profit from not distributing food.

02.08.2017 Ros-Lehtinen and Menendez Letter to the White House by Caracas Chronicles on Scribd

The letter rips into two generals, Rodolfo Marco Torres and Carlos Osorio, for their multimillion dollar food trafficking shenanigans. It also takes Odebrecht, Brazil’s posterchild-for-corporate-integrity, to task for paying for $98 million worth of bribes to Venezuelan officials. But my favorite part is the itemized list of terrorism, drug trafficking and corruption charges that several media outlets have reported our Vice President, Tareck el Aissami, has alleged links to:

  • The American Interest from September 9, 2009 reported Mr. El Aissami, who at one time headed ONIDEX, the Venezuelan passport and naturalization agency inside the interior ministry, is suspected of having issued passports to members of Hamas and Hezbollah. There are also allegations that El Aissami and others affiliated with Hezbollah are in charge of recruiting young Venezuelan Arabs who are then trained in Hezbollah camps in southern Lebanon.
  • The Wall Street Journal stated on November 23, 2014 that “El Aissami’s office used information technology developed by Cuban state security to give some 173 individuals from the Middle East new Venezuelan identities that are extremely difficult to trace.” The same article continues by alleging “that regional intelligence officials believe that of the more notable persons of interest who received false papers from Caracas was Suleiman Ghani Abdul Waked, an important member of Lebanese Hezbollah.”
  • The Wall Street Journal article from May 18, 2015 stated that former Venezuelan finance minister and governor of Aragua Rafel Isea “told investigators that Walid Makled, a drug kingpin now in prison, paid off Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami to get drug shipments through Venezuela.”

Following in the footsteps of the 2014 Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act, the proposed sanctions would freeze the assets and ban granting visas to government officials involved in corruption and/or human rights violations.

Personally, I savor the thought of Tareck’s children never knowing what a free refill is.

And just like in 2014, some opposition actors are actively lobbying against the sanctions, presumably to keep their enchufado wealth from being seized.

Which brings me to the question, do these sanctions achieve anything beyond the sugar high people like me get from knowing the life of an asshole has been inconvenienced, however briefly?

Personally, I savor the thought of Tareck’s children never knowing what a free refill is. If it were up to me, I would deny General Osorio food for the rest of his life. Or better yet, make him eat trash, forever.

But let’s get real, if the gringos really wanted to get all up in the Venezuelan regime’s business, a Bush on Noriega Panama-style takeover is more in character than sending a few crooked officials to the corner for a time out. Venezuela doesn’t factor into U.S. defense planners’ priorities.

We are not a threat, we are a nuisance.

None of which, of course, dissuaded Nicolás Maduro from slapping the label “traitors to the patria” on the group of Venezuelan congressmen (yes, Men) currently in D.C. to support sanctions. Or from claiming that Freddy Guevara, Armando Armas and José Gregorio Correa are instigating a U.S. military invasion of Venezuela. Which isn’t going to happen for the reasons mentioned above.

When you’re convinced nothing will work, you start to see the attraction of a sugar high.

43 COMMENTS

    • Como si alguna vez esos miserables hubieran necesitado que sus excusas ridículas hubiesen tenido algún asidero en la realidad.

      Ahora resulta que todo lo que se hace es malo porque “le da la razón a los chavistas”…

      • No le da la razon a nadie. Son sanciones simbolicas pero inutiles en la practica. Solo le dan municiones politicas al gobierno. No aprendimos nada del embargo cubano?

        • Parece que no entendiste.

          Ni el chavismo, ni el castrismo, ni ninguna dictadura jamás han necesitado que haya ni un ápice de verdad en la excusa que usen para justificar su andanada de mierda contra la gente, siempre es, como se dice en Venezuela, “paja loca”.

          Todos los no chavistas de Venezuela podrían simplemente irse a hacer su cola con el pico cerrado hasta para respirar, y aún así, AÚN ASÍ, el chavismo se inventaría alguna excusa para joderlos, para la última estupidez que se les ocurra, o para tapar el último turrumote de pudreval que pongan.

          El “cague” que tiene la dirigencia opositora, empezando por el mismo Ramos Allup, es esa pendejada misma que dices tú, de que HACER LO QUE EL CHAVISMO NO QUIERE es “darle municiones políticas”, viejo, en este contexto, “MUNICIÓN POLÍTICA = DAR LA RAZÓN”, es esa misma estupidez de que “Chávez decidió acabar con Venezuela porque el 11 de abril”

          Porque carajo, hasta eso le he escuchado a la gente más de una vez, de que “si la gente se hubiera quedado callada, Chávez no habría hecho esta vaina”, erga, es que es la mentalidad de la mujer abusada y coñaceada a la once, que se echa la culpa por todo lo que hace el imbécil del peor-es-nada.

          Según esa lógica tuya, entonces la gente está amarrada de manos y pies, porque, si se hace cualquier cosa para que el chavismo deje de ser poder, entonces se le “dan municiones políticas y por lo tanto los coñazos serán mucho peores después”, y sí, pongo “que el chavismo no sea poder” como el objetivo final de toda acción sensata en Venezuela porque el país seguirá siendo un rastrojo estéril distópico mientras esos miserables sean poder.

          Y sobre el fulano “embargo”:

          Primero, nunca existió tal embargo, igual le llegaron a Cuba millones de dólares en productos tanto del comercio como de donaciones como de remesas, una de las razones por las que Castro dejaba que parte de la gente se escapase de la isla era porque al tenerles presa a las familias les podía robar las remesas que mandaban.

          Segundo, la razón porque al gusano malnacido ese y sus vagos del partido los dejaron quietos es por un acuerdo al que llegaron USA con la Unión Soviética para terminar la crisis de los misiles, en la cual los Soviéticos se llevaban los misiles de Cuba si USA accedía a no hacer absolutamente nada más nunca para que Castro saliera del poder, es decir, para que el montón de pus ese pudiera reinar hasta que se murió en esa roca con tocal y absoluta impunidad.

          El peo actualmente en Venezuela, y sobre todo con la MUD, es que ellos están emperrados en que todo esto se va a resolver con una “elección certificada por tibitibi”, y ya ven que la fulana morrocoya esa está buscando ilegalizar a todos los partidos que no sean el chavista, y como el mafioso militarucho ese del padrino ahora dice que “hablar de elecciones es incitar a un golpe de estado”

          • I applaud your statement sir. The problem with Venezuela is that no one has had the balls to face chavismo head on and call them what they really are. Only Maria Corina and she gets labelled as a crazy.

  1. I have yet to meet anyone in the streets or anywhere else who takes even the most cursory notice of the regimes contention that US sanctions to some govt officials involved in drug trafficking , certain heinous corrupt deeds and human rights violations entail some kind of threat or insult to Venezuela or ordinary Venezuelans …….!! So adding a few more people to the list wont have any impact favouring the govts already much eroded credibility with the mass of ordinary Venezuelans……to most people their purported indignation to the sanctions is just so much noise ……, not deserving of any attention…which is set on other much more directly pressing issues !!

    But there is indeed something about the sanctions that is really threatening to the regime because it comes worded in a way that gives the US govt a legal basis to take measures (mind you not of a military kind) to really go after the regime itself (not just its officials) in many different ways , financially , commercially etc both inside the US and outside it ( thru any US company sited outside the US anywhere else in the world) .

    The US Govt has so far refrained from using the powers granted it by the sanctions decree to act against the regime in a more direct way , limiting itself to actions which can hurt the said officials without going further, but the possibility is always there …..!!

    People should take a really hard look at the language of the sanctions decree to check for themselves the real import of the language in which it is couched ….!!

  2. Great. Depending on what side of the bed his Orangeness gets up on, we might get a ban on all people carrying Venezuelan passports until we know “what the hell is going on.”

    • There is talk that Trump has set up a committee headed by Senator Rubio to look at policy choices for both Venezuela and Cuba , treating both countries as parts of one same problem , the measures that the sanctions decree allows could go far beyond just attacking any individual venezuelans , US govt may go for the yugular and address new sanctions against the regime itself without bothering any ordinary Venezuelan passport holders…….!! Senator Rubio is someone the Orange Haired menace is courting to keep orthodox republicans on his side !!

  3. It will not make any difference, because the MUD is compromised. That is the elephant in the room. Why would the MUD scum risk a regime change when they have invested so much in this system, when they already cut a deal that saves them? I think in any case sanctions,in order to be effective, should affect MUD leaders too, whom I am sure are as dirty as hell.It is fairly obvious by now that any regime change will not involve the MUD in any way, so if I were plotting something, I would start by having the corrupt MUD leaders put in the same bag than the corrupt PSUV leaders. No VISA for them and freezing their bank accounts. I am sure there is a lot of evidence of corruption.The Obama administration didn’t want to use it. Let’s see if finally it will happen with Trump.

    • It’s not that the MUD bosses are “compromised”, is that they’re openly against doing ANYTHING about or against the regime itself, because “waiting until 2027 is the only way or else you’re gonna get killed”

      • Dont feed the trolls ……he has but one message …forego any kind of organized opposition because the MUD is corrupt , something which is repeated at nauseam and without any kind of proof …clearly because thats what the regime wants him to say …., when a person says something which clearly is intended to destroy confidence in ones leaders so as to sow confusion and dissapointment then we know (if we are not fools) which way his bread is buttered ….in his case ‘cachicamo llamando a morrocoy conchudo’ . Not that the MUD has no committed mistakes or fallen short of some of ones preferences but from that to attributing to venal motives what are basically very comprehensible human shorcoming in a very dirty fight against an absolutely corrupt regime there one big gap….!!

        • Actually that seems to be the message wall-jumpers like Rosales and Falcón are giving, or even Torrealba himself, when they declare that “waiting until 2027 is the only choice if you don’t want to end up dead”

          Sellouts like that just to mention some examples are the causes of MUD’s loss of credibility among its base.

        • 1-En ningún momento he dicho que se puede prescindir de partidos políticos.. Pero sólo un cretino puede poner sus esperanzas en la MUD , una organización decadente y corrupta. Cómo sé qué es corrupta? Pues no tengo que hacer una gran investigación para demostrarlo,porque todo lo que sale de la boca de sus líderes y seguidores cada día huele a corrupción y a estupidez. Basta leer las declaraciones.Apestan hasta al cielo. La destrucción de la MUD (visto que su “reestructuración” no la limpió sino que la ensució más) es un requisito para avanzar en la lucha contra la dictadura. Estoy cien por ciento convencido de ello. De verdad alguien ve alguna esperanza con esa gente? Necesitamos una organización de verdad y una unidad de verdad, no esa monstruosidad totalmente inofensiva, inoperante, que en mil años no va a lograr nada más que un guiso y a costa de la pobre gente.
          2-Qué ridiculez llamarme troll y cuánta mediocridad hay detrás de esa acusación. Y la mediocridad y la demagogia siempre van de la mano, lo cual explica por qué eres incapaz de un razonamiento libre de falacias. La MUD no sólo no sirve, sino que además nos hunde cada día más.
          El gobierno convirtió a la MUD en el único partido legal de la oposición por algo. Al aceptarlo como lo están aceptando sin hacer nada se están poniendo cada vez en una posición más deleznable, más abyecta, más comprometida.
          3-Acepto errores de la dirigencia, obviamente, pero hay una diferencia entre cometer errores y abandonar la lucha y ser un hijo de puta y entregarse a la miseria humana.

          • Un insulto ( cretino , mediocre, demagogo) refleja una respuesta visceral y no razonada , tipico de quien se ve descubierto y no tiene ningun argumento logico con el cual defenderse …..el troll ataca la Mud precisamente por que es la que con todos sus defectos unifica la oposicion en resistir los atropellos del regimen y por eso este paga a tarifados para que infiltren estos blogs y la descalifiquen con alegatos infundados y acusaciones espureas . Denunciar un Troll no necesita de epitetos ….basta con indicar su presencia y que cada quien juzgue !!

  4. I believe, while Obama wrist-slapping sanctions have had little practical effect, other than a “sugar high”‘, Trump will entertain harder-hitting measures, in line with his recent Executive Order to try to curtail cartel drug distribution in the U, S. Venezuela is/has been the key conduit of hard drugs to the U. S. for some time. And, since FC has passed, treatment of Cuba hopefully will change, since it basically is the primary tumor from which all Latin American Communist metastases originate….

  5. “We are not a threat, we are a nuisance.”

    From the perspective of the U.S. that is exactly the right conclusion. I worry that a Trump administration might be goaded into doing something foolish and precipitous that would endanger the long-term goals for LatAm that the U.S. foreign policy has been working towards for the last thirty years.

  6. Hey Bill, the fact that there is no public evidence indicating MUD’s leaders are corrupt, doesn’t mean they aren’t. It just means we don’t have (although we should) open public records into CADIVI, Banco Industrial, Bandes,etc. I know for a FACT at least one high ranking MUD official is hightly corrupt. How do I know this you may ask? Easy, I grew up with their kids. I saw exactly how out of the blue, expensive cars where bought a great, a thriving “import” business started and was even in conversations where their kids 20 somthing year olds at the time (2008) bragged about how they had gotten away with millions of over priced goods (an that was just his son). Does that mean I have the tape of that conversation? No. Does it mean I have bank records of money comming and going along with invoices and kickbacks? No. Does it mean he and his family methodically bribed CADIVI officials and who knows what else in order to get away with millions of Venezuelan Money? Absolutely. So yeah, I can’t prove it.

    But if as citizens we audit the 18 years (And counting) of chavismo destruction. You bet you are going to find not one but hundreds of MUD officials covered in corruption. This has been a well orchestrated co-plunder of a country.

    But hey you want some cold hard evidence, alright, here are 2:

    1) Juan Carlos Caldera receiving funds from Wilmer Ruperti (remember the guy that paid for narco sobrinos defense?) http://www.maduradas.com/recordar-es-vivir-el-video-del-soborno-a-juan-carlos-caldera-que-comprometio-su-credibilidad-en-2012/

    This guy got kicked out of the party by Caprile himself only to come back through the back door to become a a “diputado” and currently be on the MUDs restructuring committee.

    2) Felix Arroyo. Who’s that you might ask? Ohhh just the guys that has been signing off on behalf of the opposition to the CNE. Yup, this guy was in charge of “auditing” and saying everything is fine and dandy with voting machines, process, etc. He has been doing it through basically all elections. So this guy was charged in the 90’s of selling Visas from 2500 to 30.000 to chinese imigrants among other acts of corrruption in the 2000’s. Here is a synopsis: https://www.scribd.com/document/73697761/Informe-Guacharo. Why is this important? He is one of the figures that MUD was proposing to substitute a Rector del CNE. Just saying.

    So stop calling people trolls and how about we start holding our politicians to moral and ethical standards that would be considered normal anywhere else in the world. Saying just because they are opposition they aren’t corrupt is the same as saying girls from catholic schools don’t engage in premarital sex….and boy is that not true.

  7. Why how surprising!! another inveterate Mud basher come to rescue his pal from an embarrassing silence , you guys sure know how to work together ……, of course you can assume lots of things from how the childrens of certain parents behave , if the kids are assumed corrupt then of course the parents must also be corrupt …..not always in my personal experience , sometimes good parents have crooked kids , but of course sometimes both kids and their parents are corrupt for example the first combatant and the criminally indicted narconephews she raised ……..

    Funny about Juan Carlos Caldera , was there a quid por quo for accepting Mr Rupertis contributions that involved betraying his opposition activities ?? , of course not , If I had been him I would have taken his money and done good things with it , like helping fund opposition campaigns, Maybe you don’t know it but some stalawart regime supporters from abroad ( which the regime boasts of having among its supporters) actually are said to have been offering funds to its opponents for their political campaign thru discreet middle men , in business life its called hedging your bets, and its done all the time . did you know for instance that Citgo is said to have made political contributions in the past to both republican and democratic candidates …….Oh almost forgot Mother Teresa received big donations from Baby Doc former dictator of Haiti, it didn’t bother her who contributed the money but the good things she could do with it…..!! Wise up little man !! Don’t be so innocent !! Try to be like the Chinese , those guys really understand how the world works , you play each side to gain their good will, not necessarily in pursuit of direct kickback …!!

    Funny about Arroyo , its quite a feat to be accussed of selling papers to Chinese inmigrants in the 2000’s and being denounced for it in the 90´s……., a time traveler no less ……, doubt that if he was an opposition figure he had the clout for selling papers to Chinese inmigrants when the pure revolutionaries where in power , still youll believe ANYTHING you want to believe ……, those Mud guys are meanies !!

    I think that if someone quacks like a duck , twadles like a duck, and looks like ae duck , there is a strong possibility that he is a duck , same happens with Trolls …….if their sole constant message is the MUD (all of them) are corrupt so stop trusting them in their efforts to resist the regime, then its quite clear who that benefits ……..THE REGIME and maybe the pockets of the infiltrated troll operator….!!

    • Bill, You are right, of course. These guys are trolls whose mission is to sow doubt and despair among the Opposition. They come disguised as Oppos but they are not. In fact, most of them are not even Chavistas. For them, it is a just a job to help pay the bills.

    • Bill Bass, suenas como alguien que era chavista desde mucho antes de que el chavismo tuviera nombre y que lo seguirá siendo mucho después de que caiga la dictadura . Sólo alguien deshonesto puede apoyar a la MUD en este momento. La idea de que alguien me paga por criticar a la MUD es francamente subnormal y disparatada y el hecho de que lo digas es una prueba más de hasta qué punto te has rebajado como ser humano. Habrá gente acá que te crea que me pagan, pero como yo sé muy bien que no me pagan y que la idea como tal es totalmente ridícula, para mí queda claro que no eres más que un corrupto más de los que poco a poco le dieron al chavismo su génesis. Es una enfermedad espiritual.

  8. A lot of people are setting themselves up including foreigners in Venezuela who want to play the game. THis is a very serious game I consider it foolish to be partaking in it the way they are. I commend bravery but not when it imperils your life just because you are pursuing self-centered ambitions.

  9. Not once but several times i have seen comments from international left wingers saying in comment boxes while arguing between themselves “Venezuela was doing great but now is impoverished thanks to the U.S sanctions and embargo” . Exactly like they have said with Cuba for decades, and we heard a lot of that argument in the first years of Chavismo while Chavez was leaning towards Fidel more and more.

    You can never underestimate the power of ignorance and the effects of lobby and propaganda, especially when there are strong parties pushing their similar political agenda in countries that haven´t suffered from this misery first had. Socialism is taking over the democrat party in the US more and more for example. Podemos keeps going at it in Spain, etc. and a new generation of blissfully ignorant privileged kids and resentful people all over keep repeating the same memes over and over.

    The ridiculous , shameful thing about the government using the argument as leverage is that it actually works.

  10. El hecho de que sean capaces de acusarme de recibir dinero por opinar en contra de una organización decadente que no sirve para nada, los pone ya al mismo nivel del peor de los chavistas. Porque llamarme a mí, a un venezolano honesto que vive en el exterior desde hace años, tarifado, simplemente porque no tienen la inteligencia para responder con argumentos, ya es de por sí un acto de corrupción. Están por debajo incluso del nivel intelectual de aporrea. Y saben qué? Por su forma de escribir y por su forma de dirigirse a los demás, lo que parecen honestamente es una cuerda de boliburgueses marginales, nuevo ricos sin un ápice de clase, de esos que se han quedado con una parte de todos los guisos en todos los gobiernos y cuyo nivel cultural y de conciencia nunca va a trascender la marginalidad inherente al chavismo. Yo en cambio soy un venezolano honesto que vive en el exterior y estoy bien seguro acá y disfruto de los beneficios que me gano con mi trabajo. Opino gratis, aunque reconozco que visceralmente (no lo veo como algo malo)y sí, la gente juzgará quién es el que escribe con mala fe y no es más que un enchufado eterno. Si seguimos así, como país, no va a quedar nada de nosotros.

  11. Bill and Roy, deeply disappointed… We’ve criticized chavistas for not being critical thinkers and taking it as they were told. But here are people looking, acting, smelling and being accused of corruption and yet you defend them as it is absolutely impossible that they could have ever done anything wrong. It is really disheartening to read. As for placing my personal ethics in the spotlight, go ahead. I’m posting with my own twiiter (real name and last name), I lived in Venezuela until 2014 and visit at least once a year. I have never in my life received a dime from anyone from opposition MUD or Chavista’s but I did belong to Esdata (http://esdata.info/), where we denounced with actual hard facts the atrocities CNE did ohh btw, not using encuestas but actual CNE official data. I can trace every cent I’ve ever earned or spent to my work and have never bribed a public official of any kind.

    I hope more and more people start thinking for themselves instead of attacking anyone that is actually trying to shine a light on the unethical so called “leaders” of MUD. Anyway, don’t take my word for it, maybe Capriles as an incorruptible, madre teresa kind of individual is a more adequate spokesperson:

    “Capriles dice que revelarán los nombres de opositores que se vendieron al Gobierno”

    http://notitotal.com/2016/12/06/capriles-dice-revelaran-los-nombre-opositores-se-vendieron-al-gobierno/

    • Andres no se si eres un troll , pero si que le haces el juego a uno que si lo es , vale contigo el dicho criollo ‘ el que se acuesta con muchachitos amanece meado’ , no me convencieron tus alegatos , no te ofendas por eso , eso no quiere decir que no pueda haber gente de conducta reprochable dentro de la MUD , si Capriles los denuncia…bien, pero hacerlo a raja tabla metiendo todo el mundo en el mismo saco en forma reiterada sin especificar detalles hiede a troll !! sabemos que los hay por que algunos de ellos se han revelado a gente conocida y delatado la existencia de grupos que el gobierno contrata para esa labor …..no seamos inocentes en pensar que todas las denuncias contra de la MUD son de buena fe…….!!

      • No need to patronize me Bill, I can take a hit. Unlike you, I am not going after your credentials or character, just your train of thought. Here is why:

        You are agreeing that that there are people with “reproachable conduct within Mud” because of whatever reason (Capriles, said so, diputados “forgetting” to vote on the substitution of new CNE officials) it doesn’t matter. The fact is we agree there are shady figures in MUD. I’ll take it and calle it progress.

        After arriving at said realization, the immediate question is well who is it? Who are these shady characters. I agree they are not all MUD. But is it 1 out of a 100? Is it 99 out of 100?.. Lets dive a step deeper.. You know what? Lets go of the best case scenario. It’s just 1 guy. Only one corrupt official within MUD. (I think I’m being generous, but lets roll with it for arguments sake).

        So next question is who is the guy? Options vary: it can be anywhere from a low level clerk that casually eavesdrops on conversations while bringing coffee and goes back to SEBIN to snitch, a little known substitute deputy or it can be as high up as the president of the national assembly. As you can probably agree, WHO the person we both agree exists (at least one) is, is pretty damn important.

        Just as a principle, if you are getting a divorce, you better make sure your lawyer isn’t the guy sleeping with your ex wife. Or else she is not the only one getting screwed.

        So here is MY problem with MUD. We know (and you agree) there are shady characters. I for a fact know, some of them are pretty high ranking and yet instead of cleaning up our house and taking out the trash, we are bickering and arguing with the people who point out that our lawyer is fucking our wife and we are in for a really crappy deal if we continue down this road. Like we have been getting a bad deal for the past 18 years.

        Its an understatement to say, I am not feeling represented by MUD. An organization who one day is saying they will fight till the end for RR2016 and then declares “we knew it was a long shot”, who one day says Maduro abandoned and a month later is pleading for dialogo again in Washington (that was just yesterday), and a very long list of etc (that Emiliana has done a great job pointing out). All facts. All history. Not part of a “troll agenda against unity”. Their own lies, lack of transparency, incoherence and complete disregard for the common citizen is what earned them this level of disgust.

        • If you like being analytical lets look at the subject from two angles , one are there people whose conduct maybe reproachable inside the MUD , not impossible, what would interest me is whether that conduct compromises the effectiveness of the fight against the regime , LBJ was a corrupt pol , lined his pockets with a lot of hanky panky deals back in texas and yet we owe him the civil rights legislation , so where it mattered he was OK, Same with the purportedly crooked MUD guy you mention , I wouldnt mind having a guy with the political skills of an LBJ inside the MUD , Give you another example Steve Jobs was no mother Teresa , he was not a nice person , rather unscrupulous some would say and yet he created economic opportunities which greatly benefited the US and the World , would you have traded him for a nicer guy who was an absolute ninconcoop as a business and technical leader ??

          The second angle has to do with your disagreement with some of the MUD decisions or their handling of some situations , thats fair game , we can complain about their making mistakes ( at least from our point of view) , but does that mean that you are prepared to bury the whole organization as a weapon of the organized opposition to the regime taking along the good with the bad . That would be like throwing your car to the garbage because its motor or breaks failed you a couple of times , thats also not very wise ….you try to improve what you have but you dont destroy your sole means of transport if you havent got a replacement …unless you would rather have Maduro have an open field to do whatever he wants without any form of opposition …thats the kind of result a troll would like …!!

          The fact that there maybe some people who are not saints within the MUD doenst bother me , if they do their best to fight the regime as best they can ..

          Im a big reader of history and biographies and stories about how businesses operate in different industries , and one thing that I have discovered is that there is no one organization or person or group that can scape making mistakes , all humans are fallible , sometimes they do some shady things too , the thing is that after a while they learn to improve their performance , sort out their difficulties and get the job done ……If you had read for example the history of Venezuelan independence and learned of the many mistakes and failures experienced by the patriot cause youd have given up on them and maybe gone back to being a loyal subject of the King of Spain …the thing is these guys persevered , got some lucky breaks , put their act together , took advantage of the mistakes their rivals made and in the end won our independence…….

          I actually have fun analysing things , but try not to get carried away by my florid proto puritan passions because then my judgement is clouded……!! Suggest you do the same….!!

  12. Although I supported the sanctions, they did not emanate from the Executive under Obama, but were primarily an effort by Florida Republicans to appear to be doing something for their Venezuelan constituents.

    Anything short of an invasion by the US won’t oust the Maduro government, and even Trump won’t do that in a vacuum.

    Ousting the regime in Venezuela will require sustained mass protests. About the only thing the US can do at that point is draw a line in the sand: “the United States will not tolerate it if you turn your guns against the people.”

    • The survival of the regime is utterly dependent on political patronage, which requires money. That is their weak spot. Cut off the flow of money and the regime dies quickly.

  13. Jeffry : There was an original document by Congress , it was sent to the Executive , maybe to transform it into something which could be implemented by the Executive , I read what came out from the Executive , I was amazed how the original language had been polished and supplemented so that in effect its scope appeared to go beyond the original Congressional language , it was better written and more encompassing , it quoted specific legislation which authorized the executive to take certain measures which included the sanctioning of human rights violation but also other crimes such as money laundering , drug trafficking , corruption and other stuff ……., I wish I had the text at hand but this was something read some time ago ……. It appeared to me that the order as appearing on that text would allow the executive to do what Congress wanted it to do but also other things which existing legislation authorized the president to do , maybe something to do with declaring that the actions of Venezuelan regime and its officials posed a rrisk to US security , something that raised quite a ruckus at the time !! . I noted that it did not seem to allow for any kind of military action but it did seem to allow for other measures of a non military kind.

    I really dont think that under current circumstances any kind of military action is likely , but there is other stuff which the US govt can do to make thing much more difficult for the regime if it wanted to , whether such actions can help a regime change to ocurr if taken together with other actions from elsewhere is something I dont know…….., but cant discard ……..!!

    There are lines of fracture in what holds the govt together , we really dont know when a tipping point is reached that can tumble the whole fragile structure , but I dont dare predict how or when that tipping point will be reached …..!! The financial situation is quite frail as are the govts outside relations with presumably key allies ……!!

    Time will tell …..!! Lets hope soon..!

    • Bill
      The US Attorney in New York has been flipping many Venezuelan insiders. The regime knows that the US is going to come for them once they are out of power. Maybe sooner.
      As this builds steam, more and more of the beneficiaries of corruption are trying to save their own skins and are turning on the higher ups.
      For now the only progress is identifying the money and attaching assets.
      It may be leverage for a coup.
      I don’t have a good read yet on Trump’s willingness to act. My gut tells me that if he does it will be swift. Building consensus with the OAS countries and keeping this an action of neighboring countries with US support would be the way for many politicians.
      In effect leaving no fingerprints and still claiming the victory.
      We will see.

  14. “We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor”

    That my friends is the final sentence of the US Declaration of Independence.

    I am an American with a keen interest and empathy for the plight of the Venezuelan people.
    I despise dictators and totalitarian regimes with every fiber of my body. Whether they are allied with my government or not. Our history of hypocrisy, especially during the Cold war and the US companies history’s in Latin America is a stain on my country’s past that we must not repeat.

    I do not favor sanctions against Venezuela for the same reason that I opposed them regarding Cuba. I argued then and I still believe that Castro was going to eat the last pork chop in Cuba and that we were causing the weakest and least powerful people to suffer the most. Your fat little President seems to be eating well while other’s starve.

    I believe many people that are informed about the deteriorating situation in Venezuela would support US intervention, including military intervention if needed, to restore democracy to Venezuela. I am troubled by the reluctance of the Venezuelan people to fight for their own freedom.

    When the Venezuelan people decide to “Pledge To Each Other their Lives, their Fortunes, And their Sacred Honor” to bring about a free Venezuela, America will be their to support them.

    Liberty and freedom is earned. It is held much more dearly by the people that fought for it and will be protected by these people. Liberty given to a people does not have the value of liberty earned.

    Ask yourselves, “If not me who?”, “If not now when?”, “How can I tell my children that I chose to do nothing?”

    If freeing Venezuela is a grand enough cause for an American soldier to die for, It should be a grand enough cause for a Venezuelan to sacrifice for.

  15. John Ive read american history , there is a lot to admire in the men that fought for its independence and afterwards created a country(a great country) that did not previously exist , men like washington and john Adams, hamilton and Madison …..not so well known is the number of loyalists , slackers and opportunists that played a darker role in the independence saga….., also to be underlined is the key role of the french fleet and army in defeating the british , the idea that led to the british armys defeat in Yorktown came from the French Admiral who commanded the french fleet , Washington was brilliant in that he understood it inmmediately and moved his troops like lightning to entrap the british were they would be forced to lay down their arms …..! outside help was crucial in achieving american independence .

    We take for granted that an united people will automatically and heroically take up arms to defeat their common enemy , the rage may be there but it doenst necessarily translate into an explosion of protests that can bring down a armed to the teeth regime , it can happen but not necessarily , collective responses to deep grievances are funny that way……..what has to happen usually is that people’s anger very suddenly explode and by doing so give military groups the opportunity and the will to stop defending the regime and bunch together to topple it……that can happen unexpectedly and with surprising speed.

    There is a quote by Vaclav Havel (the leader of the velvet revolution that toppled the communist regime in Czekoslovakia) which may be pertinent : “None of us knows all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.”

  16. Bill you are right.
    Benjamin Franklin disowned his son who was a Loyalist. Lafayette was a Marquis that Washington promoted to major general ( technically the Congress did as all of our generals and admirals require Congressional appointment). People also forget that the Dutch played a major part financing our revolution.
    John Paul Jones has one of the most interesting bios. He was born in Scotland, was the first true naval commander for the US, afterwards he became a Russian admiral, he died in France and was later exhumed and buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. What a life!
    The USS Bonhomme Richard is the third US warship to be named in his honor.
    The point that I am trying to make is that at some point the Venezuelan people need to rise against these tyrants. It seems like everyone expects someone else to take the risk. For that matter organized resistance doesn’t seem to be occurring. I am certain that support will be swift from many OAS member countries.
    The MUD has let the people down. The people supported MUD and just like all politicians, they put more effort into their own interests than the country’s.
    I do believe that there will be a spark that sets off the chain reaction of explosive protests. I will do everything possible to try and support that resistance. Including motivating the political powers in our nation to support a free Venezuela.
    I have tried to call attention to the plight of the Venezuelan people. Obama shut down visas for Venezuelans seeking to come to the US and nobody protested. I find peoples selective indignation interesting.
    Slowly the world is gaining an interest in Venezuela. The sooner Maduro is out of power the sooner the recovery can begin and the suffering can end.

  17. For an american youre not very knowledgeable on the truth about the MUD , something funny about us Venezuelans is that we sometimes complain about some our leaders but then come election time they get voted large mayorities …….in part because they know that the alternative is so much worse , to the extent the MUD expresses everyones rejection of the inept and corrupt despotic Maduro regime that makes our lives miserable we all love the MUD ……., so do prepare for a MUD love fest once we have new elections . The only thing they have to do is show themselves outraged at the govt , surely thats what we want from them ….nothing else ,

    By the way your acquiantance of US history is strong on trivia but short on the basic facts , the point being that the 13 colonies owe their independence to direct french military help , even if they were so spirited lovers of freedom and so on……., so maybe as you yourself suggest a little military help might make quite a few Venezuelans happy , Trump is going after Castros ass so maybe he can solve two problems at one go and take care of Maduro at the same time …… !!

    I got your number loud and clear!!

  18. Hi Bill

    I agree the MUD expresses the dissent of the people. When they fell for the Maduro’s stalling techniques with the negotiations and stopped the removal process it let Maduro keep doing whatever he wanted with no credible opposition to stop him. It seemed to take the momentum from the opposition. A unified opposition is critical to success. It still seems that individual politicians are jockeying for position in the post Maduro Venezuela rather than focusing on being a unified entity to remove Maduro.

    I do believe that the US would support a revolt. OAS members have also openly opposed Maduro.

    I don’t dispute the French being critical to US independence. France is referred to as the US’s oldest ally. The French were motivated by their hatred for England, not for the right of people to have self determination.
    That is where the US differs, most times. We have made many mistakes in the past. The Cold War created a true “ends justify the means” foreign policy that I hope we never return to. Supporting Marcos, installing the Shah, Pinochet etc.. John Kerry did the same thing with Vietnam. He said that Vietnam is not Communist, it is totalitarian. We can not selectively support self determination.

    I truly hope and pray that this tyrannical regime quickly passes into the dustbin of history.

    Any ideas that you can suggest that I can do to help, please let me know.

Leave a Reply to Canucklehead Cancel reply