The U.S. Military’s Real Worry about Venezuela: That We’ll Stop Giving Oil Away to Cuba

These Colors Don't Run* *Certain conditions apply. Offer void where it inconveniences rapprochement with tinpot communist island dictatorships.

These Colors Don’t Run*
*Certain conditions apply. Offer void where it inconveniences rapprochement with tinpot communist island dictatorships.

This, from a press conference today by Commander General John F. Kelly (USMC), U.S. Southern Command, simply defies parody:

The real shame of it is, of course, they have the second-largest oil reserves in the world.  If it — if it continues to degrade, I’m — here’s where I am concerned.  There are many, many countries in Latin America that take virtually free fuel, Petrocaribe, that Chavez and now Maduro provides, Venezuela, Colombia, Jamaica — not Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, places like that.  These small, small countries rely on — on the oil more or less free.  Their economies would, I think, collapse if they didn’t get the oil.

So if we see a continued degradation — you know, right now, I think the inflation rate is 56 percent.  That is impossible to sustain that in any economy.  So if he starts to — if they make a decision to stop the flow of relatively or all but free oil to these smaller economies, and those economies fail, then that — that would have certainly a migration impact, and you know where they’re coming, and — and particularly Cuba.  I mean, Cuba is very dependent on the Petrocaribe, as is Nicaragua, and if that was turned off, I think there would be some real repercussions economically.  But, again, I’m — I’m a military guy and — just a simple military guy trying to do a job.  I don’t understand the economy — economic thing very well. But we’re watching.  And I just wish the Venezuelan people well.

Was this a freelance burrada? A calculated gambit? An actual strategic calculus? Some mix of the above?

Is there some kind of back-channel through which the U.S. military is warning Maduro that under no circumstances shall he consider cutting off the Cuban oil giveaway? Has the whole world gone friggin’ insane?!

Inquiring minds want to know…

82 thoughts on “The U.S. Military’s Real Worry about Venezuela: That We’ll Stop Giving Oil Away to Cuba

    • How can you guys think USA is going to intervene in VZLA? Maduro was just given power by the an to continue his dictarorshop thru dec… the Venezuelan opposition is so disorganized and without focus that no wonder it can’t bring down a highly unpopular gov. Look at the protests in Brazil where more than a Milian people chanted dilam out….

      You guys need to get serious and organized if you want some results

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  1. He said some other things about the imminent collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the problems this would cause, which I think is the real issue/danger for the U. S., if the instability caused would become bloody or Cuba2. He, as admitted, is no economist, and the small nations existed pre-Petro-Caribe without collapsing. Cuba is a special case, but with opening to U. S. trade/tourism, plus the new port serving the Panama Canal, they can replace Venezuelan oil subsidies in time. There even is a move with Republicans in Congress to try to allow U. S. oil exports (now not allowed) to, for example, Mexico, which I personally think is a bad idea for a country that is such a heavy oil consumer. The major problems with Venezuela continue being majority world narcotics transiting, Regional subversion of democracy within/without its borders, human rights violations, and massive corruption/money laundering, not to mention past/future terrorist harboring/connections.

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    • After seeing a seasoned intelligence guy like Petraeus fall in disgrace for an amorous affair, I am willing to believe in high brass naivete. Maybe Gen Kelly felt like it was OK to offer a press conference on matters he knows not. “I am not an economist buy I am going to make serious economic forecasts, so bear with my bullshitting you for a little while” doesn’t make much sense. Maybe Kelly is to economic forecast what Petraeus is to extramarital affairs: a Radio Rochela production “Nada en serio, todo en broma.”

      But maybe not. Maybe Kelly was dully briefed and prep for the press conference. Maybe Cuba will implode along with Jamaica, Nicaragua, Haiti and the rest of Petrocaribe mendicant countries. And when countries implode, their shit manages to hit the fan of the good old USA as Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate.

      The fact that they did not have free oil before proves nothing. Is is saying that you can get rid of your cell phone and your computer because you did not have them before and life was OK.

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      • Life was OK before cell phones, which use is in the majority for frivolous/nion-essential/time-wasting conversation/texting (though, actually, the brain-bombarding by electronic pulses of the new long-term cancer-causing electronic cigarette substitute will eventually have a salutary effect by cutting down the number of mentally challenged–Chaderton, dixit). The computer, however, is a necessity, otherwise blogs like this wouldn’t exist. Cuba wont implode, it has a new sugar-daddy to squeeze, and the remaining two-bit countries will survive, as they always have, with no greater migration to the US than historically.

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      • Carlos, Kelly and Petraeus are among the best generals of our generation. You have no idea how revered and respected they are. Kelly did not “offer a press conference” you fool. He’s doing his job. Learn more about our generals before putting thoughts to words. He’s Not talking out of his ass….he said more revealing things in the video which you missed

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      • Carlos Mora, Dave’s crime was the cover-up …lying to investigators. Paula had top secret clearance. I’m not sure I follow you. The man can screw goats if he wants, he’s still our best general in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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  2. I think this statement make sense in the broader context of that particular press conference – narcotics flows and money laundering through LatAm and where/how to stop it. In that context it is reasonable for the US military to be concerned about potential economic failure of weaker LatAm economies that have become dependent on subsidized Vzlan oil.
    One may look at his remark just before the quote you posted as a more plausible position for the US military: “So that’s kind of where we are. We’re just — you know, we’re just watching and waiting and — you know, just hoping that the Venezuelan people work it out. I mean, they did elect the current government democratically, so it’s up to them, I think, to sort this thing out. (…).”

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    • Exactly.

      Here’s a guy in charge of basically most of a hemisphere and he is both militarily the smallest of all the commands and he has year over year, less assets. He states basically that a large part of his job is drug interdiction and engagement, and says that both those jobs are harder to do the less he has.

      In a worst-case scenario, if Venezuela goes down, his job will become much harder because it will drag other countries with it and create economic refugees as well as a proliferation of transit points.

      It is one thing to climb El Avila with worn boots and a frayed rope. It is quite another to climb K2 with the same loadout.

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  3. It might be the vengeful me thinking, but I find myself not giving two shits if some countries collapse because of an oil cutoff.

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    • Marc, the pentagon is amused. FANB is in the worse shape ever. Did you catch the imagery from the latest “exercises”. Poorly equipped rag tag army. Same for Moscow. Moscow has no capability for force projection in our hemisphere. Their are red lines which if Venezuela crosses will provoke military action….they know well what this is and will not go there for they know.

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  4. Wow! Heard that refrain before…, “Well, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout that. I’m just a poor ol’ country boy, try’n to survive in a hostile world.” In the U.S. when someone gives you that sort of line, watch out! It’s a sure sign that they are as sharp as a tack, know exactly what is going on, and are about to strip your pants off of you without you even noticing.

    I mean, come on… You don’t get to be the Commander of CentCom without understanding trivial things like economics.

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    • “Understanding economics” is not an easy task when, very broadly speaking, some fundamentals are rewritten every 20 years, or so, by always evolving consumers behavior.

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    • How many times have the Commander of US forces not screwed up things?
      And the statement about “I am just a military” is just the same thing Chávez and other Chavista honchos said.

      I am baffled.

      What does the US military have to do with Latin American economic crisis now?
      Latin America is nowadays not Iraq.

      Let’s review the amounts of oil delivered to those countries and do the mental exercise of thinking what would happen in Venezuela’s already small supplies to them collapse (further).

      As for narcotics: there are several ways the US can reduce some of the lethal factors of the drug trade. One of them we have already discussed. The other is the way the US is the shopping mall for narcos’ arsenals.

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      • “What does the US military have to do with Latin American economic crisis now?”

        He got asked repeatedly about the venezuelan situation while testifying before the senate armed services committee. The press conference was a debrief to the press corp on what was discussed, and so he was asked again about Vzla, so that is the context for the remarks. I came away from the testimony with the feeling that the whole Southern Command is just an extension of the US Coast Guard. He said he only has 5% of what he needs and that is likely to be taken away with sequestration cuts. Vzla seriously blowing up would be another mess they’re not prepared to handle… So they’re hoping that Maduro keeps it together.

        I think Kelly retires next year. McCain said in his opening remarks that this was Kelly’s last time in front of the committee. So he can pretty much say what he wants… When asked by the press about Russian presence in the region he mentioned that there had been two groups there this year, two ships in the caribbean now, and he said that it was unlikely that his ships would run into the russians…since he has no ships. He then took the statement back and apologized, but that was close to the bone.

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      • Kepler, you will always be baffled when it comes to America and Americana because it’s in your genes. Like this guy I knew….his grandparents where Nazi and he had the damn Nazi gene in him. Not implying you are SS but you have issues with America that you will never outgrow.

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  5. I may be a burro myself but I’m having a hard time understanding your labeling the General’s comments a “burrada”. I suppose his “aw shucks ” delivery doesn’t inspire too much confidence but what part of his statement seems like such diplomatic faux pas? None of his statements seem particularly controversial or inaccurate as seen from someone mostly concerned with regional issues as they relate to US national security.
    Venezuela’s situation at this point seems very unlikely to spill over it’s borders and for him specifically, his concern lies in the drug smuggling and immigration implications.

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    • I guess when he says “burrada” is talking from the Venezuelan perspectiva of US doing something to easy our population struggle with this incompetent government.

      Obviously won’t be no involvement of US so we are pretty mucho fucked if we are not capable of get out of this situation by ourselves

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      • I agree with your statement and am a little baffled that some people expect that any american intervention in Venezuela would ever include a military component.
        This government’s days are numbered but their end won’t come because of any american military intervention . it will simply collapse of its own weight.

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      • The Middle Class “Ostrich” (Avestruz) had been for years wishing that the Pope, Ban Ki Moon, Insulza u Obama solve their problem (peo). That is wishful thinking. If they want change, they will have to “pay the Price” on the streets, as the people of Tunisia did. Period !

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  6. This is the same guy that said Ebola was sure to hit in the Western Hemisphere with all the consequences that that would bring. I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. They’re always thinking worst case scenarios.

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  7. For more perspective on the US military’s view of Venezuela and the AOR of the Southern Command, this is from March:

    http://www.southcom.mil/newsroom/Documents/SOUTHCOM_POSTURE_STATEMENT_FINAL_2015.pdf

    Its pretty minor regarding Venezuela. A more concise and focused statement than what were made earlier this week, but basically the same thing.

    I kind of giggle at Telesur’s take on his press conference. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-General-Says-Venezuela-Coup-Possible-Denies-Involvement-20150313-0005.html

    Now that’s not seeing the forest for the trees.

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  8. Was this a freelance burrada? A calculated gambit? An actual strategic calculus? Some mix of the above?

    Nope.

    He’s just stating plausible scenarios. It’s just run of the mill “what-if” planning of the like the military of reputable countries are supposed to do days in days out.

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  9. I’ve been mulling over different scenarios and modeling different games but failed to incorpórate this now obvious angle while grappling to account for a U.S. move that (methinks) clearly favors Maduro as well as the PSUV’s chances in a heretofore secret congressional election. A windfall. Thank you @John Kelly

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  10. Hi

    I watched Gen. Kelly’s press conference in C-Span.

    I didn’t consider it a “burrada”, the guy remarkably well informed.

    And yes, Venezuela stopping giving oil to the Caribbean will have consequences to the region.

    I don’t understand this post.

    anyway, great piece on the NY Times.

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    • Because the fucking experts have to criticize everything Americans do or say. The same experts that think Venezuela has to solve this on its own. Resentment? Sure looks like it. Find me a better word to describe this

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  11. When people are giving general statements to inform others , they sometimes phocus on things which their audience will find surprising and odd , that people dont expect to hear , makes the spokesperson appear more knowldegeable and interesting , its a human thing. In the event of a Venezuelan regime collapse there are a lot of consequences which are obvious , but one which isnt that obvious is that there will be an economic fallout for small countries which are dependent on next to free venezuelan oil supplies to keep their precarious economies in balance .

    As things now stand , oil prices having fallen so low and venezuelas economic crisis making the supply less abundant and the terms of its purchase less generous , the impact is probably much smaller than generally anticipated. There is also a large volume of US produced oil which the US Govt dosnt allow to be exported and keeps on storage , as inventories rise the storage capacity for this oil is close to becoming insufficient. If such oil is let loose on the markets they will make oil even cheaper and will be available to supply those small vulnerable countries . If Cuba cant handle it , it will have to enter into special deals with the US producers to pay for that supply and speed up the opening of its economy to international corporate interests. !!

    The important thing is that the US is expecting as a practical matter that Venezuelas crisis will affect its capacity to continue the cheap oil supplies to its caribbean allies , which means that Venezuelas conditions are becoming real dire and difficult . from an oil producing perspective ……that may be the real news.

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  12. His approach was casual, friendly, not too technical, and the focus was on interdiction of drugs being smuggled by sea, and his desire to increase his fleet. Evidently he was not prepared to address Venezuela in any detail. His point is clear: his focus is on stemming drug flow and assisting allies with technical and humanitarian aid, not to meddle in internal politics.

    The main point of the news conference is that they have good eyes on the drug supply by air but not so good by sea, where they think the bulk goes. The take home message:

    “We figure 20 tons or so on average of — from one ship for one year. And all of this, by the way, I think I spend 1.5 percent of the entire U.S. government’s counternarcotics budget. And I get the overwhelming tonnage. I, the interagency that I work with in the Caribbean, Latin America, gets last year 132 tons. The entire take from the U.S. border and all the law enforcement efforts in the United States, spending billions of dollars, gets a fraction of that much.“

    As regards Venezuela, the message was that they are fuckups that can’t take care of their own, much less those that have grown to rely on them. Details are not important.

    All that aside, I thought this was a gem:

    “I tell people frequently, when we get — when NORTHCOM or SOUTHCOM, rather, gets — captures money, we just weigh it. We don’t even count it, turn it over to the government agency, and then they’ll count it. And we only get a fraction.”

    Sounds like the officers can take a tax-free ” bonus” for each successful interdiction, no questions asked.

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  13. He’s just commenting on what would cause the most problems for him. Cuban collapse would cause more problems for US than Maduro ever could.

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  14. What this military officer said is almost identical to what U.S. Vicepresident Joseph Biden said a few days ago. If PetroCaribe collapses, Biden said, we could have a humanitarian disaster in our hands.This makes total sense from the U.S. perspective, They don’t want another stampede into U.S. borders from all of those countries in crisis. This is why they need PetroCaribe to keep giving the oil away while they can find some alternative solutions (The Caribbean Energy Initiative is just unfolding and Biden is running with that ball).
    Of course, this runs contrary to Venezuelan (our) interests, since this oil being given away should be sold in commercial terms elsewhere. But from the U.S. perspective it’s not a “burrada”. The big ” burrada” has been to transfer enormous amounts of Venezuelan oil/money to Cuba and other Caribbean countries all these years in exchange for bananas, only to keep them politically loyal to the Chavista regime.

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    • Gral. Kelly’s comments will be Maduro’s next excuse to ask for Ley Habilitante to buy $Bn in obsolete weapons from Rusia, to fight an “imminent invasion from the Empire that wants our Oil “. Gift of oil to Cuba was just sponsoring Modern Slavery, since Cuba paid back the favor sending 30000 comrades to Venezuela on minimum wage in devalued BsF, to work in Barrio Adentro Clinics and to endoctrinate the patients on Communism “Arroz con Mango”. Ilegal immigration to USA from poorer Central American and Caribbean countries deprived of “free Oil” will not be “shit hitting the fan” to USA because Southern Border patrols are getting more budget to stop illegals and Texas & Arizona are getting tougher on “Coyotes” bands and their human traffic. Chavez and Maduro has been a “long term strategy’ of Fidel that had produced years of $$$ subsidy, after Russia stopped supporting their regime.

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      • Yes and no. Russian weaponry is useless against us. It only works on the locals meaning you people. Gustavo understands the subject.

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  15. Sounds like straightforward realpolitik. That’s not to say any of this bodes well for Venezuela. It’s the US doing what the US does best: Looking out for number one. They don’t want to see Latin America get destabilized because Venezuelan largesse suddenly goes up in a puff of smoke.

    The question I’d like to explore, which few others seem to be asking at the moment is: How strong are Venezuela’s defenses at the moment? I heard some general suggest that Venezuela could only endure three days of combat at most. Is Venezuela really that militarily weak?

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    • R.C.C.,

      Venezuela’s effective combatant strength is only about 100,000, which is pretty light for a country the size of Venezuela. However, the reality is that it does not have any serious external security threats. The only significant military forces with contiguous borders are those of Brazil and Colombia. Neither of these countries have any current strategic reason to launch any sort of offensive. However, the readiness of the armed forces they do have is in serious question. The Venezuelan armed forces have not engaged in any actual combat with the exception of small actions against drug operations or paramilitaries in, like, forever, so they do not have battle experienced commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The maintenance status of the army’s equipment is known to be very poor. Several years ago, when Chavez announced a massive mobilization to the Colombian border (political posturing, not to counter a real threat) anecdotal evidence suggested that they were only able to field a fraction of their theoretical strength.

      My guess is that the estimate of “three days” is exaggerated, and that would suppose that the threat was such that the army actually wanted to oppose it.

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      • CC readers remember what happened in 2008 after the Colombian army’s rockets killed FARC honcho Raul Reyes in Ecuador. Hugo ordered tanks to the Colombian border. The CIA created traffic jams to impede the tanks’ passage to the border. Or at least if Maduro were asked today why the tanks never got to the border, he would probably invoke CIA-caused traffic jams.

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      • If I recall correctly the crux of the General’s argument had to do with ammunition and other supply chain worries. I’m trying to find his remarks now, but the gist of it was, after day 3 “we run out of bullets.”

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    • Three full days of combat? For me it would rather be like three hours.
      Somebody here already showed a very telling picture of our military…the guys are an absolute joke.

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    • Raul, love your handle. I wonder how many folks get it. To answwer your question, the Venezuelan armed forces are in their worst shape ever. The navy only has two vessels with armament, the air force is running on available inventory for American fixed wing and rotary aircraft. You can see they shabby shape in the pictures released this week….look at the gear and equipment….no body armor, no sophisticated gear. Just Kalishnokovs which are reliable but not accurate. Three days of combat? That is funny. A real military campaign would be over in one day.

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    • The last time anyone was impressed with VEN-MIL was author Tom Clancy in his special forces book. Clancy was very impressed with GN because they conducted offensive ops regularly in hostile environments. The same environment the US uses to train its special forces (Colombia jungle). That was the last time. I do recall in the 80s how Armada would beat the US Navy while firing at drones with the Lupo frigates….another time.

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    • That is correct ! Quoting HCh, ” Aguila no caza moscas” (Eagle, specially Bold Eagles-USA don’t hunt for flies). That country is insignificant, even emong the Banana Countries, for USA to put any attention on the Country-demolition process going on there.

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    • Perhaps it’s a gambit Francisco is taking, a kind of strategical act to pass a message to you, Juan, about your fuzzy wishes for foreign (US? or anything?) intervention.

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    • … why would you handle this publicly?

      I already told you everyone knows you’re playing democrat & republican.

      Seriously, have some fucking imagination.

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  16. The way I see this is the “threat” that the U.S. (government and military) sees is the potential overall chaos (social, political, and economic) that will result from a complete collapse of the Venezuelan government. As a result of the political and social polarization and self-destructive economic policies, combined with its over-dependence upon imports, Venezuela it at real risk of collapsing into an ungovernable mess. This “mess” will inevitably impact the entire region in various ways:

    1. Millions of economic and political refugees flooding out of Venezuela would disrupt the economies of all the countries in the region, though particularly Colombia.

    2. The economic repercussions of a sudden withdrawal of PetroCaribe’s largesse would impact the economies of most of the Caribbean.

    3. It could disrupt the steady improvements that have been made in the political and economic stability that the have been in the overall LatAm region.

    4. Dealing with the resulting economic and humanitarian crises in its own backyard is a distraction that the U.S. does not want while it is focused on dealing with Russia and the Middle-East.

    The U.S. interest in Venezuela is not to defeat the Chavista regime. It is to manage the fallout from the inevitable collapse of that regime, and assure that the impact to the rest of the region is limited.

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    • Indeed, because in order to say that Venezuela is not a ‘threat’, one will have to openly ignore all these points above.

      And to make things worse, Venezuela’s military strength can grow multiple times in a very short amount of time if Moscow decides to support the Venezuelan armed forces in the same way that the US supports Israel: making it Venezuela a crucial strategic ally.

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      • Let’s not get alarmist. Venezuela is in no position, with or without Russian assistance, to increase its military strength. Furthermore, its economic collapse will occur long before that might happen.

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  17. I think Venezuela is already Cuba2. Or something like Brazil was to Portugal before Brazil became independent. Instead of gold then, now oil.

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  18. Whats clear from the generals statement is that no way are they thinking of the kind of sinister massive military intervention that Maduro and co are trying to convince people that is just arround the corner . Also quite clear that they are practically taking for granted that the days when the Venezuelan regime could supply the Caribbean with very cheap oil supplies are over or will soon be over , Venezuela just doesnt have the economic or operational capacity to keep such policies going.

    But then again I wouldnt think that if the US had specific strategic plans vs Venezuela they would be broadcasting them to the world , they would instead send someone innocent looking to make some distracting statements about their concern about the impact on Cuba and the Caribbean of losing their Venezuelan oil supplies .!!

    Im reminded of President Eisenhowers almost goofy and incomprehesible statements to the press , as if he had very little real information to impart contrasting with the clear tightly written inhouse memos he wrote at the same time giving his very well reasoned thoughts on what he thought of those subjects . Dissembling is an art and my impression is that General Kelly is very profficient at it .!!

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  19. For the non-Americans here, please understand that in American military culture, downplaying one’s own prowess, skill, and knowledge is something of a high art.

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  20. An interesting and thought provoking discussion. I see how Obama’s decree seems to be strengthening President Maduro. This might not be accidental. I personally find comfort in that take on it as opposed to the blockade/invasion scenario. Anything is possible. I wonder how the joint exercise with Russia went and whether President Maduro will go to Washington as it’s been said he might do.😇

    My prayers are with the Venezuelan people who sure deserve a break from all the drama of late.

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    • Sorry, but anyone saying the Obama decree is strengthening Maduro … Is talking out of their ass.

      There is zero evidence to draw a conclusion one way or another. We do know this: ordinary Venezuelans don’t care for foreign policy issues when considering their government.

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          • Most Chavistas address debates in your manner: Whataboutism and changing the subject. Which, I suppose, is preferable to the brutal threats of your colleague, Hector St. Clair.

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            • I am not a Chavista though if forced to choose between the Venezuelan opposition and Chavismo I would with reservations support them . I oppose US intervention and I am glad.to see most of the Venezuelan opposition lining up to defend self determination.

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            • Calling a traitor what he is based on facts is not the same as the infantile comment that was addressed to.me. Infantile comments that are offered in lieu of a real argument is metaphorically a violent act characterizing fascist debate techniques. I can say that in the least MUD’s leaders rejected Obama’s meddling and crass theatre against their country. Puts them head and shoulders above you who urge US intervention.

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            • As you have called someone a traitor without any corroborating facts, you have made an ad hominem attack where “traitor” becomes another bad word to hurl at someone you don’t like, such as any of the following: pitiyanqui. yanqui de mierda, escuálido, poopy head, what have you.

              It seems to me to be the height of chutzpah for a citizen of country A to label the citizen of country B a “traitor.”

              “Talking out their ass” is a not-very-polite way of JC’s opining that you are ignorant. As I see it, only an ignoramus or a charlatan would defend a government which has produced the following results- especially since the GOV claims to have achieved outstanding results in health care. Misiones, anyone?

              Venezuela’s 2012 health-care spending as a percentage of GDP is lowest among Latin America’s largest economies

              From Venezuelans Suffer Amid Crumbling Health System.

              Ciao.

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        • Stop suffering for an euphemism, folks.

          “Ass Pull
          Typically this phrase is used when someone invents data or facts to support their argument. Said another way, to “pull something out of your ass”.
          “This data is a total ass pull!”

          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Ass+Pull&defid=2672291

          What he meant is that the “visa-cancel-decree” is in any way bolstering maburro is making up stuff with no base at all to support such a claim.

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      • Thank you. We have to believe in ourselves and stay the course. If you analyze the noise and the sources of the noise, it’s nothing. They are in their worst shape ever. They know how to make noise and that can be disarming and intimidating to the novice, but noise it is

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    • Venezuela’s drama is not played out in the lofty sphere of international relations , In Venezuela thats just a Telenovela with fake epic overtones , a fable of fabricated sham confrontations used by a corrupt and inept regime to distract people from the real drama , the drama which is played out as their daily lives as life conditions worsen and deteriorate unstopably , with run away inflation , shortages , interminable queues , broken down infrastructure , rampant homicidal crimes , silencing and persecution of independent media , silencing and and persecution of opposition figures and protests using forged accusations and heavy coercion.

      The worst thing is having to live trapped in a world of lies , where the regime tries to impose on people a fabled and false and corrupt view of things that cannot be contradicted without incurring in its persecution and punishment . Specially where such fabled narrative is so laughably incoherent and flagrantly made up so that you feel insulted in your dignity by being exposed to it .!!

      Will the russian incursion stop the queues , the shortages , the inflation , the engulfing crime wave,, will it allow lives which are now lost because of lack of medical products to be saved , will it allow unlawfully and unjustly imprisoned dissidents be released …of course not ,,,then its something absolutely indiferent to common people > Just some fancy window dressing to make the govt feel conceited and powerful because they have the despotic but close to ruined russian regime as an ally .!!

      People who dont see dont deseve a place in this post .!!

      .

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    • Marc, are you aware of what happened as a consequence of the 2004 Recall Referendum? I refer to the Maisanta list. Google the term or search for it in the three main Venezuela blogs- this blog, Devil’s Excrement, Venezuela News & Views. One consequence: those signing the petition for the Recall Referendum got blackballed from government jobs.

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      • Hi, BT. I did read about that in the past… And I’m aware that they did some sort of “political cleansing” at all government’s companies and institutions in order to have full control of the country.

        Anyway, I believe that this criminal government won’t last much longer. Eurasia Group, one of the most respected consultancies of the world, has said that Maduro has a 30% chance of finishing his mandate.

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    • Syd, that is right on the money. It’s that and more. What our governments know (Canada too) is a lot worse than publicly known. Chavistas are engaged in war albeit a different kind of war. Not the conventional type.

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  21. nadie recuerda que en el 2014 el desastre migratorio con el poco de ni~nos viniendo de Centro America? los tribulanos estan colapsados, es un desastre…y si encima no ha petroleo no quieren ver ese desastre!!!! adem’as tampoco es una mamarrachada…ellos siempre tratan de meter esas punticas asi…

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