Photo: El Nuevo Diario retrieved

The Editorial Board of the NYT recently published “Stay out of Venezuela, Mr. Trump”, which at first may seem like a good proposition. The U.S. has consumed a lot of goodwill and capital in interventions everywhere that didn’t do much in favor of regional stability or democracy. That alone is enough to sway the U.S. when it comes to planning another intervention while still dealing with a few unresolved ones.

But, this NYT article doesn’t help Venezuelans for two reasons: it’s terribly naive, and it seems to disguise some partisan intentions behind some concerns for Venezuela.

This NYT article doesn’t help Venezuelans for two reasons: it’s terribly naive, and it seems to disguise some partisan intentions behind some concerns for Venezuela.

Consider the Venezuelan situation: Some estimate that as much as 10% of the country’s population has fled, many of them on foot through dangerous roads while expecting xenophobic attacks and shut doors from their neighboring countries. Many are leaving due to terrible economic conditions, food and medicine shortages and to escape a violence that has reached armed conflict levels without being one. Venezuela’s political sphere is shattered to the point that no internal solution seems viable. Opposition leaders are either jailed or exiled and chavismo has been in control of all State institutions, political narrative and agenda for almost two decades. It’s easy for us to get carried away and dream about miraculous external solutions.

This situation won’t change as long as chavismo is at the helm. Not long ago, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, regretted that regional pressure against the Venezuelan regime’s actions took too long. The chavismo problem must be dealt with from all angles, and international pressure is essential.

Venezuela is being used today in partisan politics by both sides. Republicans use Venezuela as “exhibit A” of what socialism leads to, and now the NYT uses Trump’s intervention fantasies as an opportunity to attack his administration with little interest on the matter beyond the next election. There is some truth in both statements, but they reduce the Venezuelan issue to a one-liner for an alien narrative.

It’s unclear where the NYT is willing to draw the line.

The Venezuelan situation is complex and it doesn’t deserve an oversimplified treatment. Indeed: pressuring the government through its financing channels is a smart move. Forcing Maduro’s administration into economic policies that make sense is necessary. Using the diplomatic capital to sway China and Russia to do the same may come in handy. But Maduro will be in power as long as it can keep feeding the remoras that surround him and support him. Taking him out will require wit and a lot of backroom hard work, which is definitely preferable over armed intervention. But it’s unclear where the NYT is willing to draw the line. Clearly they’re against support for a coup, but are they against other means of intervention? Instead, the NYT proposes aid as a fundamental piece in the puzzle. It’s important given the current generalized Venezuelan collapse, but not a long term solution. Also: proposing Cuba should be encouraged to use its leverage is simply absurd.

Venezuela had, before the debacle, been a close friend of the States.The Caribbean nation was, for decades, a prosperous nation and a positive influence in the region, which welcomed political exiles and pressured dictatorial governments to resign.

There are things the United States can do, and I hope it doesn’t choose to do nothing.

 

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75 COMMENTS

  1. “…to sway the U.S. when it comes to planning another intervention while still dealing with a few unresolved ones.”

    Not entirely true:

    Invading Afganistan was to destroy Al Qaeda and prevent major terrorist attacks on the U.S., so mission accomplished. Likewise, no ISIS action in the states.

    Iraq under Hussein was a murderous dictatorship, and while ISIS came in after the overthrow to fill the gap, you sure can’t blame the U.S. for not “resolving” the internal divisions there.

    And how come the author never mentioned Panama, which is a glorious success story?

  2. My impression of the NYTimes editorial board piece was that no direct military intervention should be engaged in, but more aid, sanctions and diplomatic pressure were required. I thought that made sense, and that is essentially consistent with the current policy. The naïve part was addressing a lesson on foreign intervention in Latin America to Donald Trump.

    The thing that surprised me from this editorial was its support for the administration’s meeting with the coup plotters. The thing is, the gringos surely knew all the details anyway, through their own hacking and spying. I am sure the Venezuelan military brass leak like sieves.

    Implicit in the NYTimes’ position on that point, was that the US had a legitimate interest in expressly recognizing a coup, and not just any coup but a coup sponsored by known criminals on the sanctions list (though not lending direct military support).

    I may be wrong about that but that’s what reading the editorial left me with, and it was not what I expected from the NYTimes editorial board.

    It seems to me that a policy against military intervention or support, but standing by as cheer leader, gets you the worst of all worlds.

    In short, the NYTimes editorial board did not find the solution. Nobody has.

    Good to see Rodrigo back.

    • “The thing is, the gringos surely knew all the details anyway, through their own hacking and spying.”

      You sure do know a lot of secret stuff!

      Thanks for the unqualified opinion on top of unqualified opinion on top of a destructive agenda.

  3. “and not just any coup but a coup sponsored by known criminals on the sanctions list (though not lending direct military support).”

    I would ask, who in Venezuela today is in a position of sufficient power and organization to orchestrate a coup and NOT be part of a known criminal enterprise, sanctioned or otherwise?

    • Good question, MRubio. My answer: I will assume based on an excellent hunch, nobody.

      I think one of the huge potential problems with military support or interventions, is backing the wrong guys. In fact, that is invariably the problem. And backing the wrong guys may result, among other things, in a situation in serious conflict with your own country’s national security priorities, its fiscal priorities, its human rights priorities.

      I don’t have to give you some recent historical examples of backing the wrong guys that came back to haunt the west (Afghanistan) but I’ll just say, I can’t see Mike Pompeo shaking hands with the leader of a major narcotrafficking operation. Or loaning “Scarface” a few billion to feed the country he’s been slowly strangling and bleeding to death for the last few years. I just can’t. (I’ll assume nobody here wants my thoughts about the results of funding and backing genocidal Guatemalan generals).

      So I’m suggesting that it is a mistake for the US, however well intentioned, to try to make a call between good coupsters and bad coupsters, or alternatively, jumping on board with whatever comes along. None of the guys on the ground in Venezuela with guns can be trusted to do anything good or in the broader regional interest or which will not be a money pit for whatever aid assistance might follow, not to mention the kinds of world historical bloodbaths that have happened when powerful countries write blank cheques for major assholes to seize power in powderkegs.

      I’m suggesting the international community should do everything it can short of military intervention. I think that can be a lot more than it is now. Just one guy’s opinion.

      • “I’m suggesting the international community should do everything it can short of military intervention. I think that can be a lot more than it is now. Just one guy’s opinion.”

        If you believe a lot more can done by the international community than is being done now (short of military intervention), can you give us some examples? I ask not because I don’t believe you believe what you’re saying, I ask because I myself am rapidly running out of ideas of what else can be done, short of military intervention….and let me be clear, I’m not in favor of military intervention.

        The one and only thing I see that can be done that hasn’t been done yet is for Trump to force CITGO to stop receiving (and paying for) oil from Venezuela. Screw the cost of gasoline in the US. Explain it to the American people and then do it. I don’t recall how many barrels per day we’re talking about, or how many dollars flowing to the regime, but it would make a difference. A big difference. Just one guy’s opinion.

        Sanctions by the US, Canada, and the the nternational community have had a positive effect in my opinion. While falling output from PDVSA cannot be attributed solely to sanctions, there can be no doubt that lacking the necessary funds for maintenance and upgrades is hurting the country’s daily production. The regime is most defintitely suffering, but they’ve also made it pretty clear that they’re going to leave only by use of force. That force will have to come from within Venezuela’s military in my opinion. The regime needs to be so weakened that such an attempt, a serious and successful attempt, can be carried out.

        Finally, and I’ve expressed this opinion before, I’d be in favor of a complete blockade of oil shipments leaving the country. Others have said that’s essentially an act of war, maybe it is. But if one is serious about strangling the regime and toppling it once and for all, that would likely do it.

        There, I’m all out of ideas.

        Thanks for your response above.

        • I am in favour of an oil embargo, and have been for the last maybe three or four years, but I will defer to the oil embargo specialists. Something like what they did with Saddam: only sales if the money goes into a fund for food, something like that. The thing you mention about CITGO sounds like a good idea. Use some credible international organization to monitor.

          No more technical assistance to Venezuela; not through trade, contractors, nothing, except medical and emergency aid.

          More and heavier individual sanctions.

          Banking- freeze and shut down access to funds more broadly. The kind of thing that was done to Iran.

          More pressure on Cuba, Russia and China. I think a group of countries should be meeting with one or all of those, to specifically address this huge issue and talk about consequences. This is on a scale now with Syria.

          • @AG: Yeah, funny how Canadians keep telling what the US ought to be doing, when they themselves are the worst offenders.

            Cuba being the ultimate case in point. They SAY they despise the Castro’s and what they have done to Cuba, all the while hopping on their Canadian charters every winter and zooming off to Havana to give their cash to the Castroist who would be long since deposed without cash.

          • Guapo,

            It would be interesting to hear your views on:

            (1) Rodgrigo’s post;
            (2) the NY Times Editorial opinion to which it refers; or
            (3) the opinions I have expressed here with reference to (1) and (2).

            A clue about (3). I do make reference in my opinions to a country whose current policy I think MAKES SENSE and… Cuba!

          • @Canucklehead: I wasn’t referencing Rodrigo Linares’ (the correct spelling of his name) post. I was commenting on Canadians fake “ugly sister” indignation at everything their richer, prettier, more talented and more popular “sister” to the south does.

            Clean up the shit in your own yard before you complain about the neighbors.

          • El Muy Muy Guapo, Te Juro No Joda:

            I offer you four more thoughts, on your last point:

            (1) why don’t you comment on THE TOPIC of Rodrigo’s post? That’s my point. Have a go at it. We want to know.

            (2) my ability to clean up the “shit in my yard” is limited by the cooperation I get from about 37 million other people, but I do my best. As I am sure you do too.

            (3) it would make things pretty quiet here in the comments section on a blog about Venezuela, the principle that people should not given opinions about places unless they are from them, wouldn’t it?

            (4) you ARE richer, prettier, more popular and more talented. Therefore you should feel good about yourself, and not be so sensitive. But there I go again, offering advice…

          • Oh, my! Here I am with a Canadian mother and a U.S. father. I think I have inherited the right to criticize in either direction. So I must say, when it comes to prettyness, it’s hard to beat the Canadian Rockies.

          • Yeah, the Iraq oil-for-food thing was a great idea until they found out that most of the money for ‘food’ had been stolen.

          • (3) it would make things pretty quiet here in the comments section on a blog about Venezuela, the principle that people should not given opinions about places unless they are from them, wouldn’t it?

            LOL canuckles. That’s pretty rich coming from you, the one who most often whines about the great unwashed masses who have infiltrated your once pristine land of robust debate and exchange of ideas.

        • MRubio, I’d be delighted to hear from the unwashed masses. That’s not you and your buddies. Maybe an unclipped nose hair or two…

  4. Military intervention by the U.N. or the OAS or both in Venezuela is rejected by many opposition politicians because this step would illustrate their own failure in acting against the narco-regime. All political, social, financial and humanitarian conditions in Venezuela are given for an international body to intervene. And yet, Ramos Allup today asks for renewed eforts to go to the polls, even when all political parties of significance have been inhabilitated by the regime. Talk about masochism!
    It is true that there are almost no precedents of this type of action ( the U.. force in Congo being designed for a different scenario and proving not entirely succesful) but something has to de done in Venezuela. A stalled car needs to be pushed.

  5. “The Editorial Board of the NYT recently published “Stay out of Venezuela, Mr. Trump”, which at first may seem like a good proposition.” Seems like a good proposition lol you cucks

  6. The NYT is full of it, as always. Liberals and dumb democrats. Out of touch with international political and economic scenarios. Their article keeps talking about Maduro, when el burro is just a puppet, when 1300 “generals” and the entire corrupt armed forces are the ones who really rule, not Maduro, or even Cabello, Tarek, the Rodriguez devils or Padrino. It’s thousands upon thousands of Mega-Thieves, scared of going to jail for their crimes, with not many places to hide.

    And it’s freaking Cuba, China and Russia the real rulers of Kleptozuela. Removing Maduro militarily would of course do nothingt, there are 1300 more Maduros, called ‘generals” in the filthy military. Thousands of Cuban spies. Russian and Chinese interests. Plus millions of complicit Chavistoide thieves, at every level of the tropical rotten society. Plus a complicit, often also corrupt “opposition” like Ramos Allup, or Capriles and Borges. Worthless clowns.
    Even killing Maduro, Cabello and a couple more thieves, and sending a few marines and tanks would fail, because there are so many more corrupt and complicit thugs with the real power, in Kleptozuela and overseas.

    But there are other ways to undermine the entire Genocidal Tyranny. With real international economic pressure, with under-cover plots to provide technology and money to any local revolt. A few long-distance snipers wouldn’t hurt, more drones, freezing the 1300 corrupt “generals” assets worldwide, and many others, threatening them, helping Duque in Colombia or Macri or Brazil and Chile or the Peru 12 to strangle the Kleptozuelan Thieves, there are many covert ways of doing so.

    But politics is politics, worldwide, and the USA or Europe do not really care about shitholes like Cubazuela. There are too many similar messes in Asia, Africa, many other humanitarian crisis, poor, corrupt, bankrupts, failed corrupt regimes everywhere on the planet. The NYT just reflects that they don’t really care. Those journalists lead comfortable lives in the USA, and don’t really care about Nicaraguans or Haitians or starving Venezuelans. They don’t really care about humanitarian any humanitarian crisis. They care about New York, vacations in St Tropez, and their fat bank accounts. Plus they hate Trump and Republicans, biased media liberals. In Europe very few people care either, they have their own problems dealing with Muslims or Africans or Asians. They often don’t even know if Venezuela is next to Guatemala, Mexico or Haiti on a map.
    Heck, they didn’t care about many other enormous genocides like Congo, Somalia or Rwanda, or Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or Zimbabwe.

    • Venezuela is close death unless (it’s latin america so don’t rule it out) Brazil and Colombia do the dirty work and do it for free.

      Otherwise the Capitania de Venezuela will fall into a Somalia Scenario (Somalia was also a comnusit dictatorship what a coincidence) and Brazil and Colombia wil probably take what they can in order to pay for the crisis.

  7. I think one of the huge potential problems with military support or interventions, is backing the wrong guys…

    ——–

    There apparently are no “right guys,” and the US and others know that even if they boosted Maduro out of office they’d be left to try and manage, and finance the recovery of, a totally dysfunctional populous. What would an occupying force actually do? Declare martial law till the pueblo came around to democratic thinking, till all the criminal factions went into recovery and got honest jobs, till the honest and hard working people still there were running things? What about the hand outs? The free housing?

    Nobody’s touching Venezuela because, IMO, it’s unfixable over the short to medium term.

  8. Who gives a shit what the New York Times says. US foreign policy should be up to the San Jose Mercury News, or the Austin Statesman, or the Denver Post (there’s at least 4 guys left), or the Miami Herald, or the Tennessean ….

  9. Nobody gives a shit what the editorial board of the NYT has to say.

    You’ll not find a bigger bunch of Marxists in one spot outside of Havana.

    The NYT is irrelevant.

  10. Rodrigo,
    An excellent article.

    You state “There are things the United States can do, and I hope it doesn’t choose to do nothing.”
    I am sure that many people feel the same way, but like Juan Largo above, I believe that Venezuela is unfixable over the short term, and will remain unfixable until a credible opposition group emerges in Venezuela. Economic embargos hit the little people first. Any armed intervention by other countries – or even covert operations to undermine the regime – will leave a political vacuum to be filled by the next level of corrupt incompetents. Tout ca change…

    A credible opposition group must have both the will and the ability to make the present regime leaders, – and equally importantly, any would-be clones – fear for their lives AND it must be motivated by patriotism rather than power. It also needs popular support. Venezuela is still not ready for this yet, and may not be ready for generations given recent developments. Countries outside Venezuela can help with the ability of such a group but they cannot force its will. The US, like other external countries must wait on the emergence of such an opposition group before it can take any effective action. In today’s world, the USA cannot afford to sponsor another Pinochet.

    • Delcy, is that you?

      1. There isn’t an economic embargo. There is a financial embargo against several Chavist higher-ups. Any harm to “the little people” is self induced by Chavismo.

      2. US law does not forbid ANYONE outside of the US from dealing with Venezuela. Russia and China are free to do whatever they want with their wealth. The recent laws enacted CORRECTLY by Trump prevents Venezuela from refinancing their loans via US markets.

      3. The problem isn’t lack of opposition cohesiveness. The problem is Chavismo. Anyone who knows a lick about negotiating anything from the price of a hot dog to nuclear weaponry knows that the people in the periphery (or the successors) need to be kept in the loop, but they are not the problem

      Your entire rant is aimed at the people who are making an effort to do the right thing. Not the people doing the wrong thing.

      Classic “blame the victim” horseshit.

    • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-13/china-to-give-venezuela-5-billion-loan-as-maduro-visits-beijing

      “China and Venezuela are finalizing agreements and would release details in a timely manner, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing on Thursday. Any financing cooperation would be in line with international norms, he said.

      “The domestic situation is getting better and Venezuela’s government is actively promoting economic and financial reform,” Geng told reporters.”

      • 10% of that has (500 million) has to be paid to ConocoPhillips by the 20th, with I guess at least another 30% immediately due to pay other outstanding debt and legal judgments. (Forget the bonds; they’re a lost cause.)
        So that’s 40%.

        Add at least 25% for the skim/thievery, and we’re at about 65% of that money gone, which leaves 35% of that 5 billion to “help” the country, about 1.5 billion bucks. That will be such a HUGE help, right?

        Not to mention that they just added another 5 bil to their debt.

        At this point, the Chinese are either just plain nuts, or are playing the losing hand against the U.S. in a stupid PR game.

  11. As to most all above–Rodrigo’s “wit”/backroom dialogue, HRA’s “elections”, Lefties “more dialogue”, pressure on criminal Cuba, tradeoffs with self-interested Russia/China–WILL NOT WORK, for obvious reasons, nor will more talk from the Lima Group, and even from Almagro, who has been fearless/the most effective so far. The Left has a vested interest in continuation of the current Regime, because its objective isn’t just Venezuela/its resources, but expansion of its ideology/destabilization to the Region, with Colombia an easy next target, and even Brasil possibly within its sights. If one thinks Venezuela is messy now for the U. S., just project a Petro win in Colombia’s next presidential election, or a more radical Lula/Haddad party win in Brazil’s coming presidential election. And, as time goes on, with the status quo, Russia/China will increase their strategic interests in Venezuela so that a favorable U.S.solution to Venezuela will be even messier….

    • Petro is getting old and Venezuela is a gift that keeps giving for the “right” (whatever that is). If things contnue to improve in Colombia because petro’s support of Mauduro’s ANC vote, it might become a Somalia acebario but with neighboors with a much larger and more powerfull military, Venezuela might die and Brazil and Colombia might have to be the ones to put it out of it’s misery.

      It is the worse case scenario and everyday it inches closer to becoeming true. Colombia would have to atleast try to take what would be left of Zulia and Tachira to try and avoid more desebalization it’s the only way to pay for everything.

      And why Colombia they got Mexico a bigger richer country right next to the USA.

      • Maybe Colombia and Guyana can divvie up the remnants of Venezuela? No more Essequibo issue, and a new “New Granada”. The Chavist faithful can all be equal in their misery (which they seem to embrace), or emigrate to Cuba*.

        And when Evo goes full tilt Castro, he can be the next contestant on, “How to Fuck Up Your Country” and a bigger, new and improved New New Granada!

        Some see lemons. I see lemonade!

        ————-

        *Emigrate. The Chavista faithful LOVE to tell the non-Chavists to LEAVE if they don’t like it. Won’t it be funny when the shoe is on the other foot?

        • Constitutionaly and historically and due to finacial limitations Colombia’s fisrt objective is to take the meat; Zulia And Tachira they’re the fornter and they will be converted to department with special rules barring Chavista human right criminals.

          This is not out of any moral prinicple it’s the only way to get in there start drilling and use the money to pay to handle the 10 Millon now stateless Latinamericans that will cross the border if Colombia does nothing.

          If it’s just Colombia lets say converting 2 States into departments every 10 years for the first 20 years and then much faster the 23 states will be converted to departments in 50-80 years.

          Building a wall isn’t an option it’s the only way to avoid Collasing Colombia with refugees.

      • petro’s support of Mauduro’s ANC vote
        Cuando Gustavo Petro apoyaba la constituyente en Venezuela
        With quotes from some Petro tweets. Here is one Petro tweet:

        Se puede estar en contra de Maduro, del modelo petrolero y minero extractivo, pero contra este pueblo porque vota y decide soberanamente?

        Like the million + fraudulent votes, according to Smartmatic? A million fraudulent votes help the “pueblo” decide?

        Too bad this hadn’t been brought to the attention of Rodrigo Palau, the author of that pathetic CC Pro-Petro article, and author of even more pathetic comments in the thread.

        • CC is useless, they’re basically just a blog where you can’t edit the comments. It’s mostly the fault of the editors, Palau is basically a Democratic Socialist that uses their communist ideas.

          CC main input is that they can write in English and are Venezuelan that’s it. Thye don’t have to be the top English news site on or have cashflow of $200,000 USD they only have money becuase people think they do something of Value, they don’t.

          Like the “moderates” that bent the knee to Petro in Colombia they’ll destroy any good that might come from having diffrent opinions.

  12. “At this point, the Chinese are either just plain nuts, or are playing the losing hand against the U.S. in a stupid PR game.”

    Or just greedy as hell.

    Who knows what filthy deals happen under the table between China/Russia/Cuba and Kleptozuela. The Chinese are also above all corrupt dictators, Capitalists in the closet pretending to be “socialists” or even democrats. You can be sure dozens of Chinese and Russian top Thieves got another juicy chuck of Kleptozuelan pie. They don’t care if national debts are repaid, or the the well-being of Billions of people. They care about their own filthy pockets, just like Chavistas, Russian, Cuban or Nicaraguan Thugs and Criminals. That’s why they get along so well, Narco-Kleptozuelans, Chinese thugs, Cuban thieves, Russian mafia or Nicaraguan criminals. They love money and power. The Chinese love to entertain Roman-Style Harems with hundreds of young whores in their palaces, gourmets meals, Masseratis and jet airplanes.. those types of Pantagruelian luxuries ain’t cheap. That’s when you do another shady deal with DelcyBitch or Masburro. To pay for more young, Chinese or Ukrainian prostitutes, new mansions and yachts, among other expensive hobbies.

    • Maybe, but when el pueblo no longer cares how much time they stand in all the lines combined for crumbs, then this dictatorship has all the time they want. China is only looking for the next best bend-you-over-the-barrel deal. Enjoy!

  13. First line of the editorial: “America shouldn’t be in the coup business. Period.”
    Last line of the editorial: “few people or leaders in the region would protest if Mr. Maduro were forced out.”

    The crux is, naively proposed or not by the NYT, forcing Maduro out, but not by having a US-sponsored coup given the sorry history of such sponsorship.

    Is this supposed to be a partisan or ideological position? Oh, please.

  14. “…this NYT article doesn’t help Venezuelans”
    Perhaps it does not help venezuelan’s right now but you are missing the point. Why does America need to fix Venezuela’s problem? You elected Chevez so it is your problem. You want now to use American tax dollars to fix your fucking mess. You fix it and if you can’t then deal with Maduro.

    “The Venezuelan situation is complex and it doesn’t deserve an oversimplified treatment.”
    No, it is not complex. What makes it complex? Cuba? I don’t think so. It is just a typical case of an authoritarian government just like Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

    You think Venezuela is special but the reality is that it is not and nobody cares about Venezuela just like nobody cared about Zimbabwe – do you care about Zimbabwe? What are you doing about it? There are bigger problems in the world. Fix your own shit and stop complaining.

    • Gotta disagree, Citizen. I think there is a Bible quote to the effect that, “To he who is given, much is expected.” And that applies to the USA. As Rodrigo points out, Vz and the US were close for decades. Heck, Citgo is such a big, successful U.S. corporation it is no doubt on Elizabeth Warren’s list!

      My point is, Venezuela is like a close friend that has recently got hooked on heroin. It breaks your heart watching him self-destruct, and you know there is little you can do, but you still have to try.

      • How much have you given? Maybe keep your hands out of others’ pockets.

        Clue: Citgo is no longer a US corporation, and Faux-a-hontas exempts marxist property.

      • Yes the heroin is a great Metaphor. The heorin adict is on a mountain of gold bleeding out and it might take weeks for him to due.

        Colombia and Brazil might have to put him out of his misery, it’s absoulutly horrible but it’s better than weeks of agony and if Venzeula dies I think the universe will somehow manage to survive.

  15. There’s no hope for VZ if you’re going to depend on Venezuelans or Canadians to fix it.

    Plus, sadly and ignorantly, the Canadian dislike of Trump mirrors Chavismo’s dislike for him.

    Shouldn’t that tell you something right there?

  16. No matter what the U.S. does (or does not do) in foreign policy, half the people in the world will think that America is the epitome of all that is evil in the world… forever. The other half will think that the U.S. is an example of all that is good in the world… for a couple of days, anyway.

    • You know what I thought was interesting? I asked my future wife if she would rather live in the US, or if “magically” Venezuela could manifest all of the things that people love about the US, we would live there.

      “Oh no. People both love and hate the US. They would love to emigrate there, but in the next breath tell you how much they hate the US.”

      It’s like Notre Dame football. The reason they have their own sweetheart deal with NBC is because so many people watch the games. Half to see them win. Half to see them lose.

  17. “No matter what the U.S. does (or does not do) in foreign policy, half the people in the world will think that America is the epitome of all that is evil in the world… forever. The other half will think that the U.S. is an example of all that is good in the world… for a couple of days, anyway.”

    Sometimes, I yearn for the years of isolationism….the world be dammed!

  18. I think there is more-or-less a consensus here that the only feasible next step the US might consider is an economic embargo. But let’s not forget the congressional hearings, where Francisco Toro and others testified they would not recommend this, as it would create a hardship on El Pueblo. Based on the hearings, and the tour of SA Mike Pence made, the administration formulated a policy of sanctioning individuals, but no embargo, no military action.

    That was then, this is now. Francisco owes us his updated thoughts on the subject. But it seems to me the Trump policy so far has been level-headed and in tune with the authors and commenters here at CC.

  19. the problem of why no one wants to intervien, is relativly simple.

    as powel told george bush senior aboit invading bagdade before the first gulf war, “If you break it, you buy it”.

    venezuela is sooo broken, any other country that sticks its neck out to take real action against the maduro regime stands the risk of buying a broken state.

    Let’s not pretend that venezuela is just going to magicaly be able fix itself just by removing maduro and friends. It is full throated, unambigious case of a failed state. Venezuela is going to need, not years, but decades of international help to do everything from fix the oil industry to the education and health system to just fixing the eletric grids; never mind all the security and public safty issues. There might be a trillion dollars in reconstruction funds needed, and venezuela’s oil industry will be in no position to pay for it any time soon, and possibly never (oil could go away before venezuela is back to basic production).

    Do you want to pay for it? Then why would we expect say neighboring countries, with their own social and economic issues, such as colmbia, brazil, peru, etc to take on that responcibility.

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