In the face of his country collapsing around him under the twin problems of socialism and corruption, Venezuela's Maduro is acting like a foreign threat is his problem:
A Colombian official said a four-day incursion into the country by Venezuelan troops may have been linked to Colombia's call for elections in the troubled, neighboring south American nation.
Around 60 Venezuelan soldiers crossed the border into Colombia Monday night and raised their national flag in a camp they set up on a plantain farm.
The troops withdrew Thursday after President Juan Manuel Santos called his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro to protest what he called a "totally unacceptable" violation of Colombia's sovereignty. A video provided by Colombia's Defense Ministry show the Venezuelans lowering their flag hoisted on a giant bamboo stalk and then slowly wading across the parched Arauca River that divides the two countries as dozens of Colombian troops heavily armed with assault rifles look on.
Maduro would have to be far more stupid than he appears to be to think, as he scans his neighborhood for a convenient foreign enemy to rally his starving population, that a conflict with Colombia's battle-hardened military would end well for Maduro.
I've long felt that the proper foreign enemy for Venezuela's nutball ruling elite would be the Dutch and their offshore islands conveniently dangling before the Venezuelan military.
Yes, Hugo Chavez painted the Dutch as a threat, and so does that Mini-Me Maduro.
Yes, raise the false banner of "anti-colonialism" to justify a real crackdown on domestic opposition that includes raising the Venezuelan flag over islands of the Dutch Antilles to dilute Latin American opposition to a domestic crackdown.
The Netherlands has a decent if small military. Venezuela's military is in poor shape. With limited direct NATO help plus logistics backing, the Netherlands could, given time to mobilize and deploy an expeditionary force, smash up Maduro's forces in a replay of the Falklands War.
Indeed, thinking about how we might help the Netherlands logistically ultimately led to The AFRICOM Queen proposal (see page 50).
Would part of the NATO Reaction Force be committed to help the Netherlands when Russia is the prime focus of that force?
Would the European Union try to show its worth to members by trying to organize a force under their banner to help the Netherlands?
The Axis of El Vil still hangs around, stinking up the Caribbean Sea, and threatening to be a real security and humanitarian problem rather than an annoyance.