Saturday, January 26, 2019

We Should Be Seriously Concerned About Venezuela Invasion

Now is the time to really fear a U.S. invasion. Donald Trump and various hardliners have mentioned it in the past--the infamous "everything on the table" sort of comment--but it seemed more remote. But now we have troubling warning signs.

--Mike Pompeo brought in Elliott Abrams as the point man for Venezuela policy. Abrams has a sordid history of diplomacy, particularly in Central America, and was even convicted as part of the Iran-Contra scandal. This is a bad sign for common sense diplomacy.

--The State Department refuses to have its diplomats leave while Diosdado Cabello says he will cut off electricity. This is a standoff that could easily lead to a spark. A spark becomes an excuse.

--France, Germany, and Spain say Maduro has eight days to call new elections or they recognize Juan Guaidó. That's a very concrete ultimatum. What do they do next? Another potential excuse.

--Along those lines, more developed countries can seriously disrupt financial flows. Already Great Britain is blocking access to Venezuela's gold. What happens if more countries deny Maduro and/or start handing it to Guaidó instead? Maybe a coup, but easily something external.

--Perhaps worst of all, today Pompeo made the following bombastic statement that copies the language of every past half-assed invasion:

"Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem"
This sort of talk should make you ill. It always leads to results that are bad for the people in the country in question, and certainly bad for the United States.

The language is ramping up. The ultimatums are ramping up. Start fostering groupthink binaries of "good" and "bad" in an effort to make any skepticism or questioning "bad." We've been here so many times before. Indeed, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams both have long experience with invasion.


shah8 12:58 PM  

One thing I find rather interesting about all of this is that all of these guys, Trump, Macron, Sanchez, May are all in fairly tentative political situations. Trudeau is in the strongest position.

I have been wondering for a bit whether the reason this is happening now is because everyone understands that a global recession seems imminent, and wishes to have all of South America securely in hand before the full effect arrives--perhaps hurting their preferred political regimes. What prompted my personal speculation was my estimation, before this new Venez crisis, was that SA was basically going to implode (essentially getting pneumonia while China has the flu), and almost certainly taking down Macri and probably exposes the untenability of Brazil's current arraignment. There had been lots of positive support articles for Macri recently, and I was going "whuh?".

I think Mexico is likely a bellwether, in the sense that some narrative around "sovereignty" is going firm and drive politics in SA.

Heh, back to the article's point--Venezuela offers serious challenges to any sort of state-kinetic regime change--lots of the same issues that would be true of invading Iran, other than the distance. And the Contra-type play has harder times with states with an established military and spy service. It's probably going to be an ever tighter economic blockade and maybe no-fly zones, or soemthing.

Not even to mention--how long do you think Guaido has before opposition factionalism flares up again?

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP