Tuesday, January 29, 2019

So Maduro Also Has to Step Down?

The world wants Maduro to stop down. I'm not sure he should be quaking in his boots yet.

Well that's nice:

Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed president, on Monday called for new street demonstrations as pressure intensified on President Nicolas Maduro and the crisis-stricken OPEC nation.

Countries around the world have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader, and the United States vowed to starve Maduro's administration of oil revenue after he was sworn in Jan. 10 for a second term that was widely dubbed illegitimate.

I seem to recall President Obama telling Syria's Assad he had to step down back in August 2011:

President Obama on Thursday for the first time explicitly called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, a symbolically significant step intended to ratchet up pressure on the government five months after the start of the uprising in that country.

Well, Obama got over that. That was about half a million dead ago.

So calls for Maduro to step down aren't as awesome as they might seem if the ruler and his supporters are willing to kill as many of their enemies and supporters as needed, for as long as needed, no matter what the damage to the country. And Russian help is nice.

Depressingly, those on the American left continue to defend Maduro and his socialist nightmare (tip to Instapundit), making it clear that no matter how bad it gets they think just a little longer and a little more control (under their enlightened leadership) would make the whole sham of a system work and bring Paradise on Earth.

I'll hope this works out well. On the bright side there is no enemy that can inspire supporters to fight to the mass death for Maduro the way Assad promoted jihadis in Syria to motivate his people to fight when they looked doomed.

UPDATE: The US is sanctioning Maduro's now-illegitimate government and trying to fund Guaido's side:

The Trump administration slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company on Monday – a move that will ratchet up pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro but could increase gas prices for American consumers.

Most American companies will be barred from importing Venezuelan oil under the new sanctions. The administration will also freeze $7 billion in Venezuelan oil assets as of Monday, said National Security Adviser John Bolton in a White House news conference.

A handful of American refineries will still be able to continue to purchase Venezuelan oil but any revenue will go into “blocked accounts,” so Maduro’s regime cannot access that vital stream of funds, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the news conference.

Mnuchin said the administration will try to make the oil revenue available to Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido.

May it work.

But what's up with this?

The Venezuelan military stands “ready and prepared to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” President Nicholas Maduro said during a speech to soldiers in Carabobo state on January 27.

Their territorial integrity is at risk? Who is going to invade that failed state?

Or does that claim mean territory that Maduro claims?

UPDATE: If the U.S. is exploring of sending 5,000 troops to Colombia--as the John Bolton yellow pad intriguingly "revealed"--over the Venezuela succession crisis, I assume it would be for the purpose of helping Colombia with Venezuelan refugees fleeing civil unrest. The troops could help with receiving and distributing humanitarian aid from abroad.

Or the troops could be sent to a staging ground to rescue our diplomatic staff--if there is no offshore Navy presence to provide that--if the crisis gets massively violence.


UPDATE: Good if true:

What happens in places like Catia, a loyalist stronghold of the regime, where faded posters of Mr Maduro hang from many buildings, may tip the balance of whether the sitting president is able to survive in power in the coming days.

Last week there was a glimpse of what could be a deeply troubling development for the regime. Mr Rui and hundreds of other residents did something they had never done before: they openly protested against Mr Maduro.

I don't know how the poor could think Maduro doesn't care about poor people. Why else would Maduro create so many, hmm?