Photo: El Mundo

National Assembly lawmakers submitted a document criminally denouncing Nicolás for taking advantage of his position for the electoral campaign for May 20: “Nicolás Maduro violated article 70 of the Anti-Corruption law by participating in electoral campaigns using State resources,” said lawmaker Luis Florido. The lawmakers denounced the exchange of votes for the bonus he promised through the carnet de la patria: “Offering the bonus in exchange for votes in presidential elections is a punishable crime.” In case imposed prosecutor general Saab doesn’t answer, the accusation will be taken to international instances. Meanwhile the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile declared on Twitter the vacancy of the Presidency of Venezuela and decreed the urgency to fill the power vacuum according to the Constitution of the Republic. The declaration was supported by OAS secretary general Luis Almagro, who tweeted: “We support the @TSJ_Legitimo’s decision, which is coherent with the OAS General Assembly resolution of June 5.” Opening a way, once more, to vilify Parliament on social media for unenforceable “orders”.

Clear priorities

For a second year in a row, Citgo, a PDVSA branch company, finances the 4th of July celebration in Houston. Since 2015, Citgo pays for all the expenses of the fireworks used to conclude the party. NGO Transparencia Venezuela said that on top of extraordinary wages, the military has been granted additional credits. In 2018, the Defense Ministry has received resources for Bs. 36,131,051,079,471, a figure that surpasses the nation’s budget for the year, which is Bs. 36,102,059,000,000. The military has received 17 times more resources than the Agriculture Ministry; 35% more resources than the University Education Ministry and 110% more money than the amount used to feed students. Out of the 11 additional credits granted to the Defense Ministry, four were approved a few days before the May 20 elections. That’s why it’s laughable that Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said that the Executive will prioritize focusing on solving essential issues such as water, public transport and infrastructural work, and added that they’ll do this “in coming weeks”; while Education Minister Elías Jaua claimed that he feels “prouder of public education in Venezuela” every day.

The marines that didn’t come

Almost a year after the thesis of D-Day in Venezuela is revealed: Last August, during a meeting with his advisors, president Donald Trump asked why the United States couldn’t invade Venezuela. The suggestion surprised those present, including State Secretary Rex Tillerson and security advisor H.R. McMaster, both of whom have left their posts. The story of the talk, which had remained secret until now, comes from a high-ranking government official familiar with what was said then, who spoke in anonymity and said that the advisors explained Trump why a military action could be counterproductive and jeopardize the support obtained among Latin American governments to punish Nicolás. Allegedly, Trump didn’t abandon the idea and offered it to President Juan Manuel Santos and later, to other four Latin American leaders. All of them refused the possibility. The rest of the article criticizes Trump’s indiscretions and his foreign policy, but recognized the relevance of sanctions against Venezuelan officials; as well as the financial contributions to help Colombia and Brazil deal with the migration crisis. Last night, based on this story, Diosdado Cabello threatened to investigate dissidents who requested a humanitarian intervention (which is the same as a military invasion to him), claiming that they’ll approve laws to punish them severely, that they’ll be tried regardless of which country they live in and that “anyone deemed to be a traitor will be treated as an enemy.”

We, migrants

Nancy Izzo Jackson, a U.S. State Department official, explained that even when the U.S. remains intent on supporting us, conditions to receive immigrants are rigorous and only “a very small percentage” will be granted asylum in the country. Yesterday, the Colombian government started the process of updating the data of Venezuelans living there with the Special Stay Permit. Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín said that the Venezuelan government’s refusal to accept the crisis is an obstacle for finding solutions and also for the relations with neighbors willing to help. The Venezuelans arrested in Trinidad and Tobago for immigration crimes are expected to return to the country in the next few days. The National Assembly asked the government to help them by allowing them to come back as returnees, disregarding any legal problems for immigration crimes. The Andrés Bello Catholic University said that students and graduates of some careers may obtain undergraduate diplomas valid in the U.S. thanks to the recent agreement signed with URBE University and Florida Global University. Those interested in getting more information can write to [email protected]

Brief and serious

  • Acción Democrática leaves MUD (opposition party coalition.) According to El Nuevo País, the reason is “failure to fulfill the agreement signed by all parties on July 19 last year,” as well as the coalition’s “paralysis.”
  • Nurses have been in protest for ten days already, but the government hasn’t taken any actions to listen to their demands. The threat of mass resignations seemed to matter little to them. Yesterday’s march in perreras, buses and personal vehicles (called the Pilgrimage for Health) reached Miraflores, asking Nicolás to try and live on a nurse’s wages.
  • Ecuador’s Foreign Minister José Valencia announced that the country called their ambassador in Bolivia for consultation and suspended the trip of their new ambassador to Venezuela, after both nations condemned the prison sentence against Rafael Correa. At night, President Lenín Moreno demanded respect for his country’s decisions.

  • Yesterday, thousands of Nicaraguans joined in a human chain in a Managua avenue, to demand dictator Daniel Ortega’s resignation and the end to the violence that has left hundreds of people dead in 75 days of protests.

We go on.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. I voted for Trump because the thought of voting for Hillary was akin to putting my dick in a meat grinder. I have no special love for the guy, and I think the consensus view on him being a buffoon (naive at best) is well founded. I am not so sure he knew where Venezuela was on a map prior to becoming president.

    When he popped off last year about “possible military action” in Venezuela, all I could do was roll my eyes. IDIOT! He gave Maduro EXACTLY what Chavismo needed… the vile specter of US military intervention… more reason than ever to boost spending on his military and another reason that Venezuelans must suffer… so that Maduro (picking up Bolivars sword for emphasis!) can defend El Pueblo!

    That being said, I don’t know who these “informed sources” are or why they thought it was so important to spill the beans about this… IF IT OCCURRED. Clearly, they care more about making Trump look bad than they care about democracy, liberty and freedom in Venezuela. This information only sets back things again. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that the leaker told the story to someone else (second hand information to someone with Democrat Party sympathies) who couldn’t give the least shit about Venezuela. There is no reason other than to make Trump look bad to leak this story.

    I am tending to doubt the story is real.

    • To be honest i found the argument of giving Maduro and Chavismo an excuse silly, this is a group of people that crooks and criminals that follow Gobbels teaching religiously, no matter if Trump declares war or says Maduro rulings is fine and democratic they will still boost their military because that was keeps them in power(China and Russian got years selling them second rate armament and anti riot equipment)and they will still cry about the evil empire trying to kill them, Obama barely paid attention of what was happening in Venezuela and Chavez was always Obama this, Obama that, Obama wants to kill etc, Maduro aswell, they will be worst now because they paranoid and things are getting really tight, Venezuelans will suffer regarless because like dear Delcy told us this is their revenge and also keeping the Venezuelans poor, hungry and miserable is the best way to keeps them harmless and at bay

      • Agreed anon07. Blaming the evil empire is the first thing taught in Revolution 101. If they’re threatening, great. If they’re not, then they’re just being sneaky and planning to invade. Win-win.

        As for Trump, as someone here said, having a half-crazy orangeman with that much military power at his fingertips threatening Maduro, might not be all bad.

    • “I voted for Trump because the thought of voting for Hillary was akin to putting my dick in a meat grinder.”

      I don’t think you were alone. And, no way he squeaks out that electoral win if Demos had not put up such a polarizing candidate.

      Personally, I went for the libertarian ticket. But, at that time we lived in California, so not like my vote even hypothetically mattered.

      Anyway story ….

      • That was a tough hole to punch considering the candidate but I went the same route, the options presented by the two dominant parties were not an option.

        Did you move to Wyoming? If so hope you enjoy, my brother went to school there and it is stunning.

        • It really was a “none of the above” kind of election. That’s why those “Giant Meteor in 2016” bumper stickers were so popular.

          Good memory. We are out of California (yeah!), but still waiting to move into the new house. Will be another 6 weeks, or so. Hiding out in the middle of the Pacific in the meantime.

          • @Another Gringo…Congrats!!! You are going to like Big Sky Country and you are headed to a beautiful part of the state. Best of all there are only like half a million people in the whole state! No more traffic gridlock every day! Enjoy!!!

  2. Florida Global University? Gee, does that sound dodgy or what? They don’t even have a .edu HLD. They have a .com. And they have a gmail address instead of their own email… you know, like [email protected] or something that might give then a whiff of credibility.

    I can’t find that it is accredited anywhere. They don’t show up on any list of accredited higher education schools in the US or Florida. They have a license from the state of Florida. That is not the same thing.

    This sure smells like a scam. I’m pretty sure that your degree from the “Florida Global University” is about as valuable as a Bolívar banknote.

  3. Actually, there are two Dorel, Florida based “schools” offering to allow student from UCAB to get partial credit in Florida. The other is
    https://www.urbe.university/about-us/
    Also in a business park in Dorel, Florida. I love their “campus” description:
    Rafael Belloso Chacín University is located at 2550 NW 100 Ave Doral, Florida 33172. The space consists of 4,000 square feet. The University facility is equipped to accommodate the needs of the University’s faculty and staff. There is an area for reception, an office for admissions, an office for the President, an office for the Campus Director, and a conference room. The library will have computers and a conference room for 15 people. There is a multipurpose room with audiovisual equipment, and four classrooms.

    From Google Street View, it is actually a rather large office building. They managed to get the TLD of .university. Again, pretty dodgy. They don’t have a .edu TLD.

    And again, this is also is NOT accredited.

    So both schools are worthless.

    UCAB was founded in 1953. It appears to be a legitimate school in VZ. But if they are telling their student to pay for “transfer credits” to the two above scam schools, then they must be either very stupid, or in on the scam.

  4. Not one direct quote of Trump saying anything like what Bloomberg reported, but plenty of direct quotes from his detractors including dictators. Bloomberg’s source: an unnamed “administration official.” Can you understand why Bloomberg is widely considered to be a marxist mouthpiece? And Soto dutifully repeats the claims and spin. Leftist establishment bigotry much?

    Any article about Trump in BigMedia must be considered fake until and unless proven true.

    • Davy Jones. Your comment is the only one I’ve seen that encapsulates the truth
      of the matter. Disappointed to see so many folks, seemingly bright individuals,
      continuously duped by the U.S. media. I repeat, I seriously doubt that anyone
      contributing to the CCs personally knows President Trump. Yet they manage to
      work themselves into a lather because they buy into a vision of the President
      that is painted by the same media they disparage. Folks tend to believe the
      source that tells them what they want to hear, stories that soothe their
      personal biases. Using something published in The NY Times as an exemplar
      of the truth of the matter is simply foolhardy.

  5. “In 2018, the Defense Ministry has received resources for Bs. 36,131,051,079,471, a figure that surpasses the nation’s budget for the year, which is Bs. 36,102,059,000,000.”

    I guess Chavistas have their own math. But, at 3.5M Bs per USD, that is only $10 million US. Not much of a budget. Diosado could fund that from his slush fund.

    • Look, we all know you’re a fucking idiot. But what exactly did you mean by THIS idiotic post!

      Most of us here aren’t stupid enough to understand your meaning.

    • @Canucklehead Honestly, I think it’s possible (I might even hope so). But I doubt it.

      Nicaragua has had a bloody, militarized modern history. In lots of ways that is a very bad thing. But it also means that both the Sandinistas and Somozoa Clan had a lot of rifles pointed at them. When the Sandinistas either chopped a bunch of legs off or tried to impose Cuban style indoctrination, the Nicaraguan Campesinos and the Misquito reached for their rifles and fought one of the longest guerilla conflicts in the Western hemisphere’s modern history.

      I don’t think the similar conditions are present in Venezuela, at least to the same degree. Maybe we could GET them there, but I don’t think they were right now.

      I do think it’s worth noting that the rise of the Contras started almost *immediately* after the Sandinistas cleaned the Somozoas out and started to show their true colors. Almost near drop into guerilla warfare. Venezuela not so much. Maybe someone has been taking sniper shots at Collectivos, but I haven’t heard of them.

      So I fear that Venezuela’s worse off than where Nicaragua was.

  6. Trump’s biggest mistake is that he didn’t order it.

    Panama’s doing okay, right?

    And don’t expect those shitheads in Canada to do anything. They never do!

    • Look. we all know you are an old brain dead worthless hack.But what exactly did you mean by THIS moronic statement?

      Most of us are not mentally challenged to know what the hell you are on about.

      • @Ira likes boys

        I suppose we should be really freaking glad that you’ve moved on from trying to use “homosexual” as if it’s an insult into using “pedophile.” Truly gradual progress is possible even for the pond scum of the internet.

        Now, you ask “what did (Ira) mean by THIS moronic statement?” That Panama is doing okay, and Trump’s biggest mistake was not ordering the Marines into Venezuela?

        Well let me let you in on a secret:

        Panama today is a prosperous, free, civilized country where people do not STARVE to death or deal with rabid, roving gangs of collectivist thugs.

        This was not always so. But by removing Noriega from power, the US not only destroyed a source of great instability and criminality in the Western hemisphere, it helped put Panama on the path to recovery.

        I’m not sure about the wisdom of invading Venezuela in order to liberate it, certainly nowhere to the degree Ira is.

        But I can certainly understand the logic.

        Unlike you, who apparently thinks “knowing a goddamn about the state of Panama today” is a mental handicap.

        • Those bright, intelligent individuals like Ira who maintain invading Venezuela will be anything like invading Panama remind me of those similarly intelligent individuals who argued that the US invasion Iraq would be easy and we’d turn Iraq into a stable, vibrant democracy, just like we did for Japan and West Germany after WW II.

          • Judging from post-last Aug. Trump public statement/news on subject at the time, the Aug. meeting/Trump invasion inquiry did happen, and Tillerson/McMasters are out, replaced by pro-action Pompeo/Bolton, for a reason. Sure, a Venezuela invasion would be more difficult than Panama; sure most LatAm Lefties/Govts. would whine (tho those beleagured by (hundreds of) thousands of Venezuelan immigrants would in lip-service only; sure a wait until early next year is necessary (Brazil presidential/U.S. mid-terms); but, by then, if nothing has happened by Venezuelans to change their own status, what is the alternative: more dialogue? Papal/divine intervention? compromise Chavista/Oppo Govt.? watchful waiting til the Castro-Communist cancer devours the entire Region? C’mon those who think Bloomberg is leftist, c’mon those who think armed intervention is not necessary–give us a clue….

          • @Rory14 “Those bright, intelligent individuals like Ira who maintain invading Venezuela will be anything like invading Panama-”

            Firstly, conduct any military operation in the modern era, especially urban fighting like what happened in the Isthmus during the single greatest Drug Arrest in history. you’re gonna get similarities.

            So yeah, there would be similarities between Venezuela and Panama, even if I do not think that on the strategic level they would be that great.

            ” remind me of those similarly intelligent individuals who argued that the US invasion Iraq would be easy”

            Except those people were CORRECT.

            The US-Led coalition’s INVASION of Iraq WAS easy, as epitomized by how “Iraqi Republican Guard” has become a joke.

            It’s PEACEKEEPING in Iraq and dealing with the horde of foreign Jihadis supported by every single one of Iraq’s neighbors and internal warlords like the Madhi Army in Sadr City- particularly with limited public support at home- was hard.

            But if you can’t tell the difference between “invasion” operations and “peacekeeping” operations, do us all a favor and bone up on your military science before you come back here. You aren’t prepared to discuss this in an intelligent manner, and it will save both of us some time.

            “and we’d turn Iraq into a stable, vibrant democracy, just like we did for Japan and West Germany after WW II.”

            Which was what Iraq was on the path to becoming, difficult as hell that it was. Right up until some chowderheads (namely Biden and co) decided to throw it all out by allowing the Iraqi government that had been defeated in elections to continue holding power, in essencce voiding the very foundation of stable democracy like with Karzai in Afghanistan.

            Unsurprisingly, being told that they will not actually have to face the consequences of an election means that these regimes now understood they were not democracies, and would not have to act like them. Which in Iraq led to the backslide into Shiite fanaticism and pro-Iranian nonsense.

            But even this- THIS- could have been managed, however ineffectually, had the Coalition troops continued to stay in country. But as we know damn well, they were not allowed to.

            Moral of the story:

            Forming a stable, vibrant democracy on the ashes of a dictatorship involves Commitment, respect for the vote in said countries, and the willingness to stay for the long term.

            Because when you calculate ACTUAL Allied casualty rates and realize that if the Allies of WWII were quick to get the heck out of Italy/Germany/Japan after the casualties taken by the Allies in Iraq… well I can only imagine what would spring up in the vacuum.

            But it probably wouldn’t look like modern Italy, Germany, or Japan.

            Now to talk about the military side of Venezuela.

            I’m probably one of the handful of civilians that actually has wargamed conflicts in Panama, including Op. Urgent Fury. That doesn’t make me an expert, but it does compared to most people. And I do think that while there would be Some very important similarities with Panama, an invasion of Venezuela would be more different than not.

            Firstly, there’s the sheer size of the country. Both in terms of physical geography and human geograaphy Panama’s a spit of land between two oceans. And given the small acreage coupled with overwhelming US naval and air superiority, it was possible to pretty much blanket the country with overflight or even naval gunfire from both sides.

            In contrast, Venezuela is one of the Americas’ large countries, stretching from the coast well South into the interior. This was the kind of stuff that the warring sides of the independence wars fought over time and again in the course of a decade or so. Good luck parking a carrier group next to Amazonas.

            In addition, while Panama is REALLY DENSELY populated (moreso than most of Venezuela, if not all of it), it’s much less populated overall. Venezuela’s population was nearly twice that of Contemporary Panama’s in 1960. Now it’s about eight times that, and even if more people flee we’re still looking at 4-6 times the Panamanian population over a much larger, wilder (in terms of geography) country.

            That’s gonna take some time to deal with.

            Secondly: There’s the issue of the people involved. In addition to there being lots more Venezuelans than Panamanians, I would epect a much higher proportion of irregular combatants supporting the Chavez-heir dictatorship. We’ve already seen lots of rabid paramilitary collectivos or assorted gangs go around on here. Chances are, at least some of them would combat any invasion.

            Now, this is rather like what Noriega tried to do with Los Battalions Dignidad. But I’m guessing they will factor in much more in Venezuela today because of the size of the country, the fact that Chavez and Maduro let them get a head start compared to Jose-come-Lately Manny N, and the ideological fervor compared to Noriega’s relatively bloodless and unideological tyranny.

            Also, Noriega couldn’t call on FARC and M19. The antagonists of the hemisphere’s longest civil wars are just across the border or in country and they have some experience in killing, looting, and hiding. In the event of an invasion they’d probably jump on. And while I have little faith in them actually doing much in the way of significance, they’d need to be defeated and rounded up too and could stiffen the back of the regime’s resistance (or at least that of its collectivos).

            The plus side is that I imagine it’s likely that we will see friendly irregulars; Venezuelans willing to aid US or other Allied troops by rebelling and attacking their oppressors, or serving other roles like as pathfinders (though that also opens the possibility of subversion).

            Finally, there’s the fact that Noriega’s Panama was many things, but it wasn’t a starving hell-pit.

            Like it or not, most of Venezuela is.

            Which means you’ve got to have a LOT More relief and aid ready to go after the combat formations have done their job. And it is almost impossible for me to state what a PITA this is going to be

            Vast quantities of food, medicine, water, sanitary aides, and more I can’t be bothered to list will be necessary to clean up after Chavismo. And you’re gonna need a good number of people to provide those things, from the person who loads it onto a pllane or ship to the vehicle crews who bring it in country, to the EOD specialists who swept the (air)port to make sure some Collectivist scumbag didn’t dump booby traps, to the guys who actually distribute it.

            And those people and facilities have “Soft Target” tattooed on their foreheads.

            Now, there are probably more differences but I think these will suffice.

            Now, what’s similar?

            The overwhelming superiority of the US military and that of its allies. Simply put, they WILL win the combat. It is only a matter of time and cost.

            The relatively easy spacial logistics of it. Or put it simply, the Carrib’s the US’s backyard and so Uncle Sam can move resources around fairly easily.

            And finally, the lack of legitimacy or widespread support for the dictatorship in question. I think we can count on a lot of defacto, convenient support under the table.

          • Turtler said…”Also, Noriega couldn’t call on FARC and M19. The antagonists of the hemisphere’s longest civil wars are just across the border or in country and they have some experience in killing, looting, and hiding. In the event of an invasion they’d probably jump on.”

            You do realize that the M-19 demobolized 20 years ago, I will admit that your knowledge of history, worldwide, is greater than mine but you failed here. No matter any propaganda to the contrary the FARC has had no revolutionary intentions in decades, they are an armed criminal organization, nothing more. If, and I would not support this, the US were to intervene militarily in Venezuela, the dissents of the FARC would do nothing to protect the regime in Caracas. Your other points about the difficulty of this turning out well, easily, are well made but Colombian criminal dynamics would be relatively inconsequential. They, the criminal armed groups, are operating in Venezuela for one reason, there is literally not a single group contesting them. They will flee to the other side of the border as soon as any pressure is applied.

          • @waltz “You do realize that the M-19 demobolized 20 years ago,”

            I was referring more to the general pool of experienced fanatics for M-19, FARC, groups like the Shining Path, Tupamaros, and so on rather than the specific organization with the flag “M-19.”

            Radical Communist terror groups that may be long dead and disbanded, but which left behind a bunch of experienced gunmen or the like who- though getting long in the tooth- could flock to “the sound of guns” and provide an unfortunate set of muscle for an allied group or something new.

            Sort of how former AQII members formed the initial hard core behind IS.

            But yeah, my bad. I should have clarified better.

            “No matter any propaganda to the contrary the FARC has had no revolutionary intentions in decades,”

            A terrorist group is still a terrorist group, and as a few others have pointed out (like during Rodrigo Palau’s misguided idea) FARC has still been conducting its own tricks.

            ” they are an armed criminal organization, nothing more. ”

            Lots of armed revolutionary groups act as armed criminal organizations.

            The NSDAP did it. The Bolsheviks did it. The Fascisti in Italy did it. Mao’s Opium hounds did it. Ho used Tonkin and Annamese smugglers and pirates to fight the French until they started to realize that the Communists were trying to take over their organizations from the insideand so turncoated.

            And I could go on.

            Criminality is often just another tactic in the grand revolutionary scheme. Which is why I won’t trust the likes of FARC until they are completely destroyed..

            “If, and I would not support this, the US were to intervene militarily in Venezuela, the dissents of the FARC would do nothing to protect the regime in Caracas.”

            Color me skeptical. I hope that’s true, but Chavismo has made Venezuela a very nice nesting ground for Colombia’s scum. And I don’t see them being happy about their safe haven being removed.

            “Your other points about the difficulty of this turning out well, easily, are well made but Colombian criminal dynamics would be relatively inconsequential. ”

            Relatively, sure. But I didn’t claim this was a comprehensive view of all the factors.

            I didn’t even claim it was about all or only major factors. They were just me going off the top of my head. And touching on how Chavismo is in tight with a lot of illegal NGOs ranging from “normal”criminals, to terrorists, to both.

            “They, the criminal armed groups, are operating in Venezuela for one reason, there is literally not a single group contesting them. They will flee to the other side of the border as soon as any pressure is applied.”

            But first, pressure most be applied. Including to them.

          • “Shining Path, Tupamaros”

            Niether of which have any historical presence in Colombia or more relevantly Venezuela. I was also off, should have said 30 years not 20.

            “Color me skeptical…”

            The truth is that the Colombian government has never historically been in control of the entirety of its territory, no reason to believe for that to change now. There is still plenty of territory for these armed groups to retreat to. The armed criminal groups, other than those coming from the demilitarization of paramilitaries, have a long history (FARC, ELN and EPL) of living in the zones not controlled by the government, there is no reason to believe that they would not go back to this if confronted by an actual overwhelming force (US intervention).

            They are not guided by some philosophical belief but profits and survival. Taking on an invasion led by the US would not lead to the later even if reducing the former.

          • @waltz “Niether of which have any historical presence in Colombia or more relevantly Venezuela. ”

            They didn’t have less of a historical presence in Colombia than the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna). But that did not stop Escobar from hiring one of their veterans named “Miguel.”

            And that’s the problem we’re facing. Personnel rather than strictly groups.

            You know how so many CC writers are working from exile in the US or Canada? Well, the bad guys can use that tactic too. A group being disbanded doesn’t mean all of them will go by the wayside.

            “I was also off, should have said 30 years not 20.”

            No worries, it is close enough for government work.

            “The truth is that the Colombian government has never historically been in control of the entirety of its territory,”

            Eh, color me somewhat skeptical.

            That’s certainly been true since La Violencia. And historically Colombia’s central government has had avery rickety control over its territory so that if a challenge did arise it would often spiral out of control (like the 19th and early 20th century civil wars showed. Or indeed today).

            But there was a goodish chunk of time in the early 20th century and mid 19th when I would argue that it more or less did (at least as much as-say- Spain at the time did), if only because there was no other threat.

            ” no reason to believe for that to change now.”

            So the question is how does one take steps towardschanging that?

            ” There is still plenty of territory for these armed groups to retreat to.”

            Certainly, but that doesn’t mean they’re *keen* to. Particularly when it involves losing a sponsor and a place of shelter.

            That does not mean they’ll go full Banzai and stand and fight to the last drop of blood; they haven’t done that historically and I have no reason to believe they will start. But they don’t have to completely die for Venezuela in order to fight for it.

            And as at least *vaguely* trained and experienced combatants they could be a big nuisance. Especially for anti-regime militias or irregulars rising up.

            “The armed criminal groups, other than those coming from the demilitarization of paramilitaries, have a long history (FARC, ELN and EPL) of living in the zones not controlled by the government, ”

            Indeed, that I know.

            “there is no reason to believe that they would not go back to this if confronted by an actual overwhelming force (US intervention).”

            Certainly, but I’m guessing they will not do so gladly or without any kind of fight. After all, it takes time to relocate people and get them out, and in the meantime it’s likely a few units of FARC will try and take their chances and provide what support they can to the regime on the way out.

            Especially if the war on Chavismo turns into a guerilla war, at which point some select FARC “volunteers” could then cross the border to support their scumbag cousins in Venezuela.

            “They are not guided by some philosophical belief but profits and survival.”

            Maybe that is true, but they Were guided by said philosophical belief originally. Some of their members and sympathizers still might be.

            “Taking on an invasion led by the US would not lead to the later even if reducing the former.”

            Agreed, but it’s hard to understate how overconfident FARC sympathizers and the far left are. I would know, I keep tabs on one (including this one Irish RPer and self-avowed Marxist0.

            I doubt the “FARC Manpower pool” would be a MAJOR MAJOR complication or hurdle for the US, but I do think it would factor in in some way. And it is certainly a factor that Noriega didn’t have anything like.

          • “Eh color me skeptical…”

            That, lack of control/influence, was what allowed La Violencia.

            “Especially if the war…”

            The FARC’s best military attribute is that they avoid confrontation except when they have clear advantage. This would not be the case with US invasion (which I do not support). Never said I did.

          • @waltz “That, lack of control/influence, was what allowed La Violencia.”

            I’m skeptical. The fact that La Violencia began as an outbreak of urban violence inside Bogota, the heart of the national government, indicates to me that the problem wasn’t primarily caused by lack of order and stability over the country’s boundaries.

            And furthermore that having such a destructive punch to the nerve center probably helped cause the collapse of control over the national territory rather than derriving from it, even if said control was never super-great to begin with.

            “The FARC’s best military attribute is that they avoid confrontation except when they have clear advantage. This would not be the case with US invasion (which I do not support). ”

            And as we full know, FARC doesn’t always have the advantage of picking those fights. It has gotten steadily better as the old guard have gotten older or died, but there’s a reason they have been steadily withering for years. And part of that is due to the increasingly skilled Colombian ability to detect and bring them to bay.

            FARC may want to run for the border in the event of an invasion of Venezuela but they likely would not be able to do so Immediately, and would also be bound by ties to their friends.

            That might not keep them fighting indefinitely at any cost like Hezbollah has in Syria, but it would probably sicker them in to more than a few situations they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten into.

            ” Never said I did.”

            And nobody said you Did support it.

          • “I am skeptical..,”

            I never mentioned control over borders but control within their own borders.

            “And as we…”

            Plan Colombia, though not emphasized as a priority, is working. If not as an anti-coca plan is working as an anti-insurgent plan.

            “FARC may want…”

            The dissident FARC will do nothing to defend the current regime, find a way to work around problems sure. Like I said earlier the FARCRIM will go to/find the place with the least pressure, of a shot is fired it is because they miscalculated.

      • Considering that he was introduce to the world as Correa´s Maduro, Lenin sure prove at least that comparison was extremely wrong

  7. I don’t recognize this site anymore. I miss the old CC.

    Remember when we traded ideas? Remember when the nauseating sociopath with orange hair had no place in our discussions here? Remember when we actually learned from each other?

    I miss CC. I think it’s time to withdraw my picayune $15 per month now.

    $15 buys enough Doritos and beer to last me a month…maybe a little less.

    Adios.

    Time to go and take my $15 a month

    • Remember when annoying posters like you didn’t criticize American presidents just because they’re Republican, let alone the ONLY president in two decades to seriously challenge Chavismo?

      And you claim to be a paying member here, yet admonish Trump, who has done more to kill Chavismo than anyone…ever?

      What exactly is going on in that fucked up brain of yours to go against the person who is so strongly going against this dictatorship you supposedly disapprove of?

      Are you one of those “socialism is still good” morons, or just a talker who thinks any U.S. action is “bad?”

      You probably just think you’re smarter than the rest of us, but shit, you sure ain’t!

    • Kickapoo, if this site offends, might I suggest you watch “The View” while enjoying your Doritos and beer? Lots of positive reinforcment there. Whoopi might even let you grab her pussy.

    • @kickapoo joy “I don’t recognize this site anymore. I miss the old CC.”

      Sorry to see you go, but I’m not surprised.

      I think CC has been suffering for a long time. Partially beause of the loss of momentum in the opposition, with Chavismo settling in, MUD Atrophying, and it becoming obvious that there is no electoral solution to this mess in the foreseeable future.

      “Remember when we traded ideas?”

      We still do.

      “Remember when the nauseating sociopath with orange hair had no place in our discussions here? ”

      firstly, I don’t care much for Trump- in spite of how it may seem- but if you think he’s a sociopath, I have a birdge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      And I say this as someone who actually dealt with Sociopaths.

      Trump isn’t the most likeable figure in US political history, he does lie, scheme, and manuever a lot. But he does’t have the kind of unhinged lack of remorse, control, empathy, or gratitude that the likes of Putin or Bundy did.

      But I do think this was a crucial point.

      Caracas Chronicles’ Headline is “Making Venezuela make Sense.”

      That means to me it should be about trying to illustrate the situation in Venezuela as clearly as possible, and trying to build the largest, most powerful network of support to help kick these people out.

      Support Trump though I might, I don’t think for a second that CC went downhill just because they criticized His Orangeness (I do too).

      But I think it IS emblematic of a problem that helped make them go downhill.

      For one, in general I think it’s a good idea for those struggling for freedom to avoid offending those enjoying it. Which means being more or less neutral or “as you will” for those doing it. There’s a reason why I don’t fight death matches with Cuban dissidents for instance, even if they are Social Dems. Ditto Kurds or what have you.

      So the prominent way that CC swung against Trump struck me as OFF.

      And in particular the extremely deranged, hostile, and frankly disconnected with reality way they tried to associate him and those supporting him with Chavistas for doing- let’s face it- activities that are normal even in functioning democracies.

      AND THIS HAS LESS TO DO WITH IT BEING AGAINST TRUMP THAN CC DOING THIS IN AMERICAN POLITICS IN GENERAL.

      I think it would be as grotesquely wrongheaded for them to do this against Hillary Clinton. And I hate Hillary Clinton.

      Because frankly, US elections are *not CC’s great concern.* They certainly affect it, but ultimately target numero uno and the main raison d for being must be building bridges to take this dictatorship down.

      Put it simply, I think the decision to weigh in so heavily in US politics was a form of mission creep that diluted CC’s focus and hurt it badly.

      But I think this was showing heartily before it. Mostly due to the incredible, INCREDIBLE hostility towards abstention and those advocating for it. As well as the more militant members of the opposition. People who ultimately realized the nightmare they were in, and that a regime that takes its cues from the Castros isn’t going to willingly let itself be voted outta office.

      Politics is the art of the possible. And I think CC needs to focus on how it is possible to compel the regime to abdicate power or die clinging to it. And that has been sorely lacking among many in the Venezuelan opposition.

      “Remember when we actually learned from each other?”

      Somewhat. I think we still do.

      “I miss CC. I think it’s time to withdraw my picayune $15 per month now.”

      $15 buys enough Doritos and beer to last me a month…maybe a little less.

      Adios.

      Time to go and take my $15 a month”

      fair enough.

      Sorry to see you go, and glad you liked my post. But I d

  8. Here’s a thought. Just spit balling. Don’t post articles that bring up the orange one, and then he will come up less often in the comments. Just a thought.

    • This. This indeed. Well Said.

      I do think CC should comment less on partisan foreign politics. And why I think taking a strong stance against a major foreign figure in a democracy unless they go full stupid and practically hug Maduro was a bad, Bad idea.

      And I think that would be the same for Hillary Clinton.

      Ultimately one needs to build bridges and unite.

      That doesn’t mean one cannot criticize Trump or has to like him. You don’t need to abdicate your opinions.

      But I do think they need to be more focused and hedged than they have been.

  9. “Whoopi might even let you grab her pussy.”

    I am confident that nothing good would come of that.

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