Original art by @modográfico

Venezuela is in crisis and the world can no longer ignore it. As the country’s problems deepen, everyone gives their read, including The Weekly Standard’s Barton Swain: “The people of Venezuela are starving to death. Bands of hungry looters roam the streets of its cities, the currency is worthless, and no one can create wealth thanks to incompetent and corrupt regulators backed by the regime.”

By now, this is a well-known situation, with thousands leaving Venezuela any way they can. As constitutional options are virtually nullified by a government disobeying the very same laws it wrote, the question of how to rescue Venezuela gets increasingly far-fetched, convoluted answers.

Swain’s option? The U.S. will stop buying Venezuelan oil and perform “coerced humanitarianism”:

If Maduro’s government is starving its people, and if there is no feasible way to remove him and no one yet ready to take his place, the United States and its allies can aid Venezuelans directly by coordinating a massive humanitarian airlift (…) If nothing else, a large-scale and sustained airlift would (1) save some not insignificant number of people from starvation. It would also (2) humiliate a detestable regime that cherishes international prestige. And (3) an airlift led by the United States and joined by Canada, Britain, the E.U. (…) would convey an unforgettable message of friendship to the persecuted and oppressed of Venezuela.

Like many things about chavismo, this strategy is a Cold War relic already seen before, mutating for a post-Soviet world.

But regardless of how good an idea it is (and Barton is eloquent in a truly accurate portrait of today’s Venezuela), actually applying this is completely misunderstanding the context we live in.

Let’s talk about ethics. Piñata Ethics. Everyone that has been in a birthday party with a piñata knows bigger kids always push, kick and do whatever they can to grab as many goodies as possible. The candy sucks and in most cases they don’t even need the toys, but it’s free stuff. Smaller kids, meanwhile, need the help of an adult to get some loot.

What would happen if the adults at the party were in cahoots with the older kids and tried to keep as much things away from the smaller children as possible, deciding who gets what?

You can read the rest of Swain’s article at The Weekly Standard.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Concept of feeding the people is simple. Give a person the food that he needs. The problem changes with scale. Feeding yourself is different from feeding your family, or feeding an army, or feeding a city, or feeding a country. The concept is always the same but the scale makes it a different problem.

    A thug’s power resides in its ability to intimidate, humiliation is kryptonite to them, hence admitting the ‘humanitarian channel’ from its enemies is admitting to their defeat. If nothing else, in the Chavista mythology they concede defeat in the ‘la guerra economic’.

    So I see value in things like that, not in helping the hungry but in damaging the image of Chavismo in front of the hungry.

  2. BESides the insignificant angle the author gives to the story – yes strong always fucks the weak!, the airlift will be short lived once the first US or coalition plane is hit down and casualties mount.

    The strategy is a good one though! I support it. Is a way to trigger a casus belis and go in with the guns!

    I say go for it.

    • Nah. The entire proven reserves of Venezuelan heavy, sour oil isn’t worth one US life.

      Let Venezuelans die for Venezuela. The US has spilled enough blood for ingrates.

      • Yup!!!

        Until the AN and a country that borders VZ give official coverage to the US efforts, there is no point in even trying.

        And even then, let’s face it… There are those in VZ who will likely appreciate it from an opposition standpoint t and use it against us.

        Nation building is best left to the nation, themselves.

      • This comment is funny.

        The U.S’s world dominance depends on that military spilling blood. As much blood as is necessary will be spilled to maintain that.

  3. If Latin America and the EU ever get serious, sober consideration should be giving to sanctioning Cuba until it stops living off Venezuelan oil and repatriates its praetorian guard. Pretending the two situations are unrelated is delusional. Fidelismo and chavismo view the singular crisis as an existential threat. The world should, too, and “help” them out of that problem.

        • In early 2017 Cuba NEEDED to import 72 kbd of venezuelan oil of which 42 kbd were light crude and 30 kbd refined products , even with that level of imports electricity and gas were being rationed , 70kbd of oil per day according to Cuba was the bare minimum needed to keep things going , that amounted to yearly imports of 25.5 million of bls which at 60$ per bl would be worth some 1.5 billion US$……..

          Current Venezuelan imports are of about 350 US$ per capita the lowest import per capita figure since the mid 40’s of the last century and 40 odd % below the 2017 figure. If the oild sold to cuba were to be sold to other customers at ordinary market prices that would raise the per capita import figure to 400 US$ and SAVE LIVES…..

          Mean time the unstopable drop in Venezuela production has forced the govt to drop in the level of it oil exports to cuba imports, part of the slack has been taken up by Rosnef which probably explains Pdvsa handing over the Cienfuegos refinery to cuba ‘in payments of debts” and very likely Cubas transfer of that refinerys business to Rosnef.

          The algerian deal is for 2.100 kbd , which is the equivalent of 175 kbd per month or less than 3 days supplies of Cubas needs per month ……a drop in the bucket …….., to be paid at least in part thru the sending of cuban physicians or purported physicians to Algeria ……

          Understand that according to certain Cuban calculations the price of their services to the Venezuelan govt come close to offsetting the value of Venezuelan oil exports made to cuba which they recieve at heavily subsidised prices including a financial arrangement wereby they dont have to pay for the oil for some long period (15 years??) at 1% yearly interest.

          • Understand that according to certain Cuban calculations the price of their services to the Venezuelan govt come close to offsetting the value of Venezuelan oil exports made to cuba

            Those calculations indicate that Cuba is acting more like a capitalist exploiter than like a socialist brother.
            Brookings Institution:The Cuba-Venezuela Alliance.
            It is important to keep in mind that Cuban professionals are paid much less than their government receives from Venezuela in payment for their services.As of 2010, Venezuela paid Cuba approximately $11,317 per month on average for each professional it provided.18 By contrast, Cuban doctors reportedly receive $425 per month, although this is more than double what they received six years ago and similar to what they earn on medical missions to
            Brazil.19 Cuban doctors would be earning only up
            to $64 a month back home.20

            The Cuban government pays its physicians about 4% of what the Chavista government pays it. That’s a 96% tax.
            Cuba does so because its physicians are a major foreign exchange earner. Sugar production has fallen by over 75% since Cuba lost the guaranteed sugar market of its Soviet sugar daddy.

  4. The United States should do NOTHING.

    Air-dropping in food? That is the answer from some elitist fleeb sitting at his computer, munching on a lobster roll and sipping on a Tab.

    1. If the US were to fly UNINVITED over Venezuela, Maduro would only be too happy to shove a Soviet era SAM up some C-130’s tail pipe. Wouldn’t that be a “victory” for Chavismo, as they could claim that the Yanqui invasion was on! Remember, Maduro says that Venezuela has plenty… there is “no hardship”, only fake US news… propaganda from the United States and its puppets… he needs only a minimal excuse to declare martial law, and suspend indefinitely whatever rights Venezuelans currently have. Why then even bother with an election?

    2. Logistically, a piñata party indeed! The colectivos/PNB/GNB would be swarming in, guns at the ready to confiscate any food/medicine for themselves, selling the rest.

    But, leave it to some East-coast, Ivy-League jughead in Washington to figure out what the United States “needs to do”. Typically, they haven’t ever served in the military, nor do they have a loved one currently serving.

    • These are my thoughts too.

      I like the planes idea, except we should be dropping bombs, not food.

      And no risk of harm to U.S. military personnel. Drones, controlled by offshore Navy.

    • Wrong. Read the entire Swain article. The food chimera is ridiculous, but it’s in the USA’s long term interest to shut down the Gasoline and Oil trade with Kleptozuela until Chavismo falls. Macron and the EU are ready to follow. Heck, even the Peru 12, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada.. are ready. No cash, no credit, huge economic crisis, hunger: shit really hits the fan. It would only take a 3 week economic embargo after the bogus election fraud. That’s what the USA needs to understand. The Citgo jobs would come right back under a transition government in a new Venezuela, plus a shitload of new economic opportunitie$$$.

  5. Swain is damn right.

    As I’ve been writing, Chavismo is committing political suicide in 4 distinct ways, but may need a little final International push to the brink. After the horrific economy gets even worse, after the hated Maduro is re-elected in blatantly fraudulent elections, the USA and EU may need to shut off some of their Cash Cows. A few weeks should suffice. No gasoline/oil trade with the USA, and some severe EU sanctions. Mas nada.

    By then the pueblo-people plus some military will be angry enough to overthrow the Cubazuelan Kleptocracy. No Klepto-Petro could save them, they have zero credit left. If the USA simply shuts down the cash cows for a little while after the putrid election debacle, the shit finally really hits the fan in the streets.

    Regarding the “coerced humanitarianism massive airlift”, Swain needs to lay off the Ganja, or whatever hallucinogenics he’s taking… Eso, “y las vacas vuelan”..

  6. Have private informtion that a venezuelan engineer working on the design of a large airport to be built in eastern Paraguana peninsula (where the biggest Pdvsa refinery are located) ,left her job and on coming back to visit her colleagues a few months later was told that all work had been stopped becauset a very hush hush decision had been taken to build an ever bigger airport to be designed outside Venezuela in the very middle of the peninsula and that rumour had it that the airport was to be built for use by russian army units, mean time US icongress s starting an in depth enquiry into Venezuelas role in international narco trafficking , if you combine these two items plus Trumps comment that Venezuela unlike Irak or Aghfanistan was very close to Venezuela ( barely 1 hours flight from Puerto Rico and its bases) , yes they may be preparing a case for justifying some kind of intervention in Venezuela. …….no body wants that , but let maduro tumble a US plane bearing food to starving Venezuela and who knows what might happen ….!!

  7. The streets are not sufficiently red with the blood of martyrs yet to justify any US involvement beyond financial.

    sorry folks, NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

  8. If the military, starting with 2.000 generals and their families, are threatened with visa restrictions to USA, Canada, Europe, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and so on, if the younger kids to not get their fair share of the piñata, I guess the wives and mothers of the generals’ will see to that the young eat very well.

  9. Could we surround VZ with refugee camps and wait for everyone to leave? Its humane, it helps the people to get food and it would show the people of VZ that the US cares more about them than their own government does.

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