“This whole thing is absurd”

It's kind of like having Zapp Brannigan as your president...

It’s kind of like having Zapp Brannigan as your president…

There’s an elemental sadness to this story about the Imperialist Aggression involved in “denying” Maduro the use of U.S. airspace to fly to China via Europe (which, they didn’t), don’t you think?

Seriously, isn’t it just sad, this cloying, desperate ploy to fabricate an international incident out of nothing at all?

Take it away, Willie Neuman…

On Thursday, Mr. Maduro and Foreign Minister Elías Jaua accused the United States of barring Mr. Maduro from American airspace, calling it an act of aggression.

But on Friday, Roberta S. Jacobson, the United States assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said that was not true and that the request had never been denied.

American officials said that, instead, Venezuela had not followed normal procedures in submitting its request to enter American airspace and that Washington had granted it anyway.

A State Department statement said that Venezuela had made the request on Wednesday, just a day before Mr. Maduro’s scheduled departure, when such requests are supposed to be made three days in advance.

Officials also said that Mr. Maduro was flying in a Cubana Airlines jet [y qué habrá de la vida del chupadolar?!] and that diplomatic flight requests were supposed to involve official state aircraft.

The statement said that, despite all of that, the United States had worked with Venezuelan officials to get the approval done quickly.

“This whole thing is absurd,” Ms. Jacobson said.

“This was a request that came in very late for an aircraft that is not a Venezuelan state aircraft and therefore would not normally get diplomatic clearance, and we got it done as quickly as we could so we don’t understand this reaction.”

Willie Neuman’s story in the NYTimes ferrets out one final, extra-gobsmacking detail. It’s not just that Maduro did, in fact, get permission to use U.S. airspace despite screwing up the request, it’s that you don’t actually fly over Puerto Rico when you go from Caracas to Paris!

Robert W. Mann Jr., an airline industry analyst in Port Washington, N.Y., said that the most direct route from Caracas to Paris was over the Lesser Antilles and that flying over Puerto Rico, which is farther north, added about 100 miles to the flight path.

Just to recap: this major international aggression consists in Maduro turning in, late, a messed-up request to use air space he wasn’t actually going to fly through…and having that request approved!

¡Vamos bien!

34 thoughts on ““This whole thing is absurd”

  1. This whole ‘biting the hand that feeds’ masquerade that is the last 14 years of Venezuelan populist rule is getting stale. It is like some sifrino teenager from hell. Yeah I’m talking about you Nicolas Maduro!


    • Perhaps if you were flying to Dakar in West Africa, your claim, Ricardo, might be justified. But Dakar is a VERY LONG way south of Paris. I suggest you check airline flight maps.

      Using a Cuban-owned aircraft is part of the Venezuelan government’s FABRICATED SPITE, coupled with false whines that the “imperio” barred airspace entry to that Cuban aircraft.

      Conclusion: Manipulation + the need to create cohesion in the ranks = unimpressive moves designed to impress the gullible. Ricardo: meet Arturo.


  2. You have to understand that the Chavistas are creative communicational artists. They don’t need to let facts stand in the way of a good story that supports their narrative.


  3. Actually I think Venezuela has had that policy about US military flights in place long before Chavez. Reciprocity is not a bad thing.


  4. I wonder if this is true http://prodavinci.com/blogs/cual-es-el-impacto-de-que-ee-uu-no-deje-a-maduro-sobrevolar-puerto-rico-por-luis-vicente-leon/

    to recap: luis vicente leon claims that when the US denied something to chavez his popularity would go up (sort of rebellious attitude against the empire)

    So, at the risk of sounding too depressing, if this somehow applies to Maduro then the saddest part of this story is that it would actually help his popularity, are we really that stupid?


  5. And Evo Morales wanted every south American country to expell their US ambassadors over this??

    I lost a huge amount respect for Evo over this. Even if it had been true (the US tried to stop Maduro visiting China), one should at least wait a few days before turning it a cold war type event.


    • And Evo Morales wanted every south American country to expell their US ambassadors over this?? I lost a huge amount respect for Evo over this.

      Are you going to tell me that Evo gained your respect for his low blow in a soccer match?

      Are you going to tell me that Evo gained your respect when he proclaimed that capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity?

      Are you going to tell me that Evo gained your respect for his regard for the law?

      “When some lawyer tells me ‘Evo, you’re making a judicial mistake; what you’re doing is illegal,’ well, I keep going even though it’s illegal. I then tell the lawyers: ‘If it’s illegal, go ahead and make it legal. That’s what you went to school for.’”

      Evo Morales is an astute politician in the Bolivian tradition of “anything goes,” such as his locking the oppo out of the Constitutional Convention in order to get a two-thirds majority approval. The electorate subsequently approved the new Constitution- which was something like Bolivia’s 17th Constitution- approximately one for every decade of Bolivia’s existence. Sound familiar?

      Most people pay little attention to Bolivia, which is why you were most likely not aware of the above three examples I gave regarding reasons not to respect Evo. As I worked in Bolivia, and also worked with Chapacos [from Tarija province] in Argentina and in the US, I pay more attention to Bolivia than most people.

      Evo does deserve credit for his control of government spending, which means that Bolivia’s economy has been better run than the economy of Chavezuela.


    • they’re playing the victim. btw, Evo’s anti-corruption chief (who reports directly to him) was arrested in Miami a few weeks ago for shaking down the owner of Aerosur. No bond for him.


  6. I think the real question is: What is going to go catastrophically wrong in the next few days (or what has gone wrong that will come to light shortly) that the government needs to misdirect, misdirect, misdirect so much so that once again, the regime is picking fights where none exist?

    Hasn’t that been the pattern for some years now?


  7. Wow, what a joke. This reminds me of another “incident”:

    The U.S. State Department apologized Saturday for the brief detention of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro by airport security in New York, but a senior White House official said Maduro brought it on himself.

    He called the U.S. government “racist” and “Nazi” and said the United States does not appreciate Latin American countries. He has filed a complaint with the United Nations, he said.

    A senior White House official said airport officials did not know who Maduro was. The Venezuelan government never made arrangements through State Department Diplomatic Security, which is customary when a high-ranking foreign official is traveling, the official said.

    Maduro, his wife and child arrived at the airport 30 minutes before their flight to Caracas via Miami, Florida, and paid for their tickets in cash, raising red flags with airport security, the official said.

    Informed of the incident, Chavez said on Venezuelan state television, “This is a provocation from Mr. Devil.”



  8. Pena ajena at the sheer tercermundismo exhibited by Maduro. I guess he and his gang thought it might be useful to fool a few people at home fomenting a meaningless diplomatic squabble. So sad that they don’t see how utterly foolish they look to everyone else, including the chinese. It’s a sign of utter disrespect toward his own people, ill-conceived and embarrassing.


  9. Maduro (following the dear defunct leader) absolutely adores being part of a headline that makes him look the heroic victim of the nefarious acts of an all evil enemy which he confronts angrily and bravely , dashingly, defending the dignity of all Venezuelans (whom he imagines will identify with him) . Also it cheaply adds to his popularity among the most idiotized of his fanatical followers , As many have already noted it can also take attention away from the foul tangled mess that now shadows all aspects of his rule. It could be that he either deliberately sought to create this headline. ( by playing with the limits of the permit procedure) or that upon his bungling officials causing the problem, he pounced upon it to create a ridiculous ‘storm in a glass’ such as is reported in this blog . A day before he made the announcement that there would be repercusions if any one in his entourage was denied a visa for entering the US on his planned visit there to attend the UN meeting clearly referring to the army general now part of the presidential office who is accused by US authorities of involvement in drug traffic offenses . That suggests that Maduro is hankering for a fight with the US tp take the limelight of the medias attention away from the many problems now afflicting the life of average Venezuelans !! He has also denounced the existence of Social Explosion Plot by the opposition in cahoots with their imperialist masters , which might reflect his belief that he will not be able to avoid a social explosion and that before that ocurrs he has to have a ready made explanation that blames it on something different than the bungling mismanagements of the regime. !!


  10. I’ve been told by a pilot that “all airspace in the Carribean and Gulf of Mexico area is classifed as US airspace”. I’ve been unable to verify that claim. Can anyone tell me if his statement is correct and where the proof can be found? Thanks.


      • There’s a difference between having administrative responsibility for managing air traffic over a certain area and being having sovereignty over a chunk of airspace. The U.S. has sovereignty over air space above its territory and territorial waters, just like everyone else…


    • The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are strategic and vital to US national security interests. Chokepoints and passageways include Panama canal, Yucatan channel, Windward passage, Mona channel, Florida straights, Guadeloupe passaage, St. Lucia passage, Dominica passage, St Vincent passage, Dragon and Serpent’s mouth (controlled by Venezuela).

      When the US goes to war, they ship most of their gear from Gulf ports. The Ruskies have not been seriously plying these waters since the 80’s. Only recently have the Ruskies sent subs and surface combatant vessels into Caribbean again.

      This is one reason Venezuela could never seriously buy Russian advanced-Kilo submarines. They could never operate them without Russian crews so the whole exercise was a waste of time. Just like the invasion of Colombia was a waste of time.


      • I was at a mall in Barquisimeto where that mobilization took place. Busy food court…folks in uniform seemed to be enjoying themselves, notwithstanding they were getting ready for war with Colombia.


  11. Cuando los rusos recientemente metieron un submarino nuclear en el golfo por cuatro semanas los gringos quedaron sorprendidos porq los rusos evadieron los sensores acusticos.


  12. In other unrelated news, 1,300 kg of cocaine arrived in Paris from Caracas. Way less than the ALBA’s aid carried to Lebanon in a intrepid flight that took many fueling stops (6,500 kg) and was covered by all the state-PSUV media…
    And in other unrelated news Rafael Isea told he has not spoked to the DEA…


  13. “You’re not paid to think! A mindless revolutionary is a happy revolutionary. Shut up and do your revolucion!”.


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