Here’s the latest on what’s going on. You decide where things are going to end up, because no one else seems to know.
On March 12th, the U.S. orders the pullout of all Embassy personnel.
The State Department is concerned about their safety, because dictator and usurper President Nicolas Maduro isn’t providing the Embassy with adequate security. It’s feared that his extremist followers, including his armed Colectivo groups, will eventually lead an attack and violence against the people there. Because these groups aren’t officially part of the Maduro administration, they give him the excuse to let the attacks begin, and simply attribute it to the “will of the people.” (Gringo go home!)
The Embassy is also suffering from a lack of power and water, like everyone else in the country. This is a major reason the State Department is giving for the move.
Some claim this withdrawal of Diplomats is a precursor to U.S. military intervention, but that’s one hell of a stretch to make right now. The two sides aren’t even talking, so the U.S. Diplomats haven’t been serving any function anyway. Why put them in harm’s way for nothing? (Remember Benghazi?) How does this affect Consular services for Venezuelans looking to acquire U.S. visas and get the hell out of Dodge? No reporting at all on this yet.
Major blackouts making big news, but it’s old news, and just more of the same.
This past Thursday (March 7th), a major power outage hit all of Venezuela. And I repeat. All of Venezuela.
Over the past few years, several major blackouts have affected large metropolitan areas on a regular basis. Dozens of lesser outages, still affecting tens of thousands each, have occurred even more regularly. And hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of more local outages have plagued Venezuelans on an hourly basis, like clockwork, as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west each day.
This current outage has outdone them all, hitting everyone at once, and almost a week later, most are still in the dark. Maduro blames U.S. espionage for this attack on their power grid, but only fools believe this, or paid Chavistas who pretend to. The fact is, the system has been so neglected and underinvested due to corruption and Socialist incompetence, it’s going to take decades to bring it back up to modern standards.
People lose the little food they have in their refrigerators because it spoils. They can’t get fresh water, because electricity is needed to power the pump stations. They can’t watch TV, use their computers, power their cell phones, or do anything to connect to the real world to get the real news.
And they’re dying by the hundreds, just over the past few days, in hospitals whose equipment needs power to operate, not to mention because of the shortage of medicines.
So power outages are nothing new here, and it seems like this latest monster one isn’t enough to spur enough outrage for the people to truly revolt against the dictatorship.
Interim President and National Assembly Leader Juan Guaidó still walks free, but why?
Maduro has got to be crapping his pants at the prospect of outside military intervention. It’s the only reason I can think of why he hasn’t arrested or harmed Guaidó yet. Have there been back-channel U.S.-Russia-China talks on this that no one knows about, forcing Maduro to back off on this?
U.S. policy is murky at best now, but it still has the upper hand.
Time is on the opposition’s side, but there’s no doubt that Venezuela has dropped a few points on the geopolitical urgency meter, and the rhetoric has toned down from the U.S. side. That’s not very good news, because patience only gives you another Cuba, where we’re still waiting. The U.S. announced a secondary round of sanctions soon to come, pressure on India not to purchase VZ oil, and other financial and diplomatic squeeze measures to further squeeze Maduro out, but if it hasn’t worked so far, why would it now?
What happens if the military turns on Maduro?
If the military hangs Maduro on a lampost Mussolini style, everyone will cheer, correct? But what if instead of recognizing Guaidó, the military installs their own interim leader, a General who has now seen the light? (Military juntas are what Latin America is all about; it’s what they do best.)
It pains me to say it, but it has to be said:
As much as I admire all Guaidó has done, what Venezuela really needs right now is as an SOB hardass like Pinochet, who knows how to get things done and rid the country of communism once and for all.