25 January 2019

The Venezuela gambit

President Trump does not love authoritarian rulers unconditionally. To prove this, he has endorsed the attempted ouster of President Maduro of Venezuela by that nation's opposition leader by recognizing Juan Guaido as its new leader. Guaido is head of the Venezuelan legislature and claims the authority to depose Maduro under the nation's constitution, but Noah Feldman at Bloomberg News finds little genuine constitutional basis for his action. Nor does Guaido have much if any influence over the Venezuelan ministry, which after a generation of Bolivarian rule seems firmly loyal to Maduro's party. Guaido either hopes that Maduro can be driven out by "people power," which seems unlikely given the president's conviction that he represents the masses outside the capital, or else he expects military intervention by the U.S. or the nearby countries that have also recognized the opposition as the government. I doubt strongly that any of them thinks that removing Maduro is worth a war, and an American war to remove him would seem to go against all of Donald Trump's foreign-policy principles. If Trump goes further than mere recognition, in defiance of warnings from Russia, it is most likely because he sees it in America's economic interest for a friendly regime to control Venezuela's large oil resources. Oil probably has a lot to do with Russia giving a damn about Venezuela, or at least more than any urgent affinity with another "authoritarian" government, and the current disagreement over Venezuela tells us more about the actual state of U.S.-Russia relations under Trump than any Democratic party conspiracy theory.

In any event, the Russians seem to be in the right so far if Feldman is right about Guaido's flimsy basis for his actions. Maduro has given every indication of being an idiot, but many have grown tired of the whining over "rigged" elections whenever someone like him wins anywhere. I have no reason to doubt that many still idolize him, wisely or not, while blaming the U.S. and others for the country's economic misfortunes. If Guaido has real evidence of election fraud or voter suppression that'll be another story, but otherwise it's not for others to judge if voters in one country keep electing idiots who run their economies into the ground. You know what they say about people in glass houses, after all....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the current trend is to allow all the dissidents, dregs and losers from such country flood into our country, making what happens in their shithole-of-origin more and more likely to become OUR future. What we need is a simple, consistent immigration law that is actually enforced. 4 simple questions would do the trick:

1) Do you speak English? If no, application denied.
2) Are you educated or do you have a marketable job skill? If no, application denied.
3) Do you have any criminal convictions in your past? If yes, application denied.
4) Are you willing to give up your culture, traditions, values, mores, etc. and adopt ours? If no, application denied.

Add to that automatic arrest and prosecution of anyone hiring or harboring illegals AND making such people financially responsible for all court costs and deportation costs. Finally, a "three strikes and you forfeit your life." Anyone caught here illegally the first two times is deported. The third time, they're simply dragged out into the street and executed.

Let us not forget that every person who comes here illegally is a criminal, because they've broken federal immigration laws. The fact that they KNOW that what they are doing is illegal proves criminal intent. We already have a ridiculously high crime rate, we don't need to be importing more criminals when we can't even deal with the ones we have.