Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Maduro’s Thugs Keep Him in Power While He Loses Support

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 20, 2019:  

Despite the Trump administration ratcheting up sanctions against Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, he remains firmly in control. Even his most dependable support from the slums — the barrios — is fading, and yet he remains the supreme authority. His exports of crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries has ended and yet he continues to rule. Recent sanctions applied to a Venezuela-based gold company were followed by the promise by the U.S. president of getting “a lot tougher” if necessary. Inflation has destroyed the bolivar, and still Maduro dominates the government he has illegally seized.

Many have blamed Maduro’ recent loss of popularity among the poor on the colectivos — motorcycle gangs of armed thugs trained and supplied by Cuba — that have invaded the barrios to quell incipient resistance and blatant opposition to Maduro with force and the threat of force.

In 2017, however, Maduro unleashed another arm of his military,

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Closing of U.S. Embassy in Venezuela Paves Way for Harsher Measures Against Maduro

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 13, 2019: 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear exactly what his intentions are: that the closing of the American embassy in Caracas now removes “constraints” that have until now reined in U.S. policies there. Said Pompeo on Tuesday: “Decisions you make are always encumbered by the fact that you know there’s real risk to your own people, people that you’ve sent into harm’s way. We wanted to get them out of the country so that we could move forward in a way that provided that opportunity.”

He added that

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Does Maduro Have a Death wish?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 8, 2019: 

In this space on Monday, this writer noted that Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro “had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month.”

It just got worse.

For the second time in a week,

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Maduro Playing With Fire: Detains, Releases American Journalist

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 7, 2019: 

At 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, four heavily armed agents from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s military counterintelligence service arrived at U.S. journalist Cody Weddle’s apartment in Caracas with a search order. They arrested him and his assistant, Carlos Camacho, put them in a blacked-out military vehicle, and took them to military headquarters for questioning. The agents ransacked his apartment and removed all of his video-recording and related equipment.

Both were masked and hooded for hours before being questioned about their work. Upon his release afterwards, Weddle said: “They wanted to know about the work I did, who I worked with. They wanted to know what kind of military people I’ve spoken to, what type of opposition politicians I know … who were the opposition politicians I spoke to in the past few days.”

They tried to pressure Weddle into generating some pro-Maduro propaganda as well, guiding his answers while they videotaped his responses. They sought, he said, to get him to say “that Juan Guaido is not the president, and that the [awful] situation [here] is a result of [U.S.] sanctions.”

The New York Times reported that

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Venezuela’s Maduro had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 4, 2019: 

Nicolas Maduro learned that his vice president came away empty when she went, hat in hand, to see Russia’s president Putin about getting another loan. This was on top of learning that China was negotiating with Juan Guaido’s people about how his new regime would repay the estimated $70 billion they have sunk into Maduro’s failing government.

He suffered a black eye a week ago when he ordered his military to stop humanitarian aid from coming into his country, by force. It fired on unarmed citizens, killing as many as eight and wounding hundreds more. As a result some 600 or more of his soldiers went over to the other side.

He learned that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sensing a moment of opportunity, called Putin’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday for a “consultation” over Maduro’s rolling catastrophe. He no doubt got angry when he learned that Juan Guaido, the head of the country’s legitimate National Assembly, had somehow escaped the country despite being banned from leaving by his packed Supreme Court.

He must have been frustrated upon learning that

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Maduro’s Support from China, Russia Collapsing

This article appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 4, 2019: 

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro sent his vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, to Moscow last week to see if she could arrange some more financing for Maduro’s failing and cash-starved Marxist regime. She came away with warm words but no cash. Russian president Putin was just too busy to see her and handed her off to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who told her: “We think the best way to help the Venezuelans is to expand practical, pragmatic, and mutual advantageous cooperation.”

Translation:

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Once Marxist Maduro Is Gone, Communist Cuba Is Next

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 27, 2019: 

Communist regimes cannot support themselves, but must rely on outside assistance. Less than a month after communist Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959 he went to Caracas, Venezuela, hat in hand. He needed Venezuela’s oil and Venezuela’s then-dictator Fulgencio Batista welcomed Castro’s exchange deal: Cuban “assistance” to help stabilize Batista’s tyranny. That assistance came in the form of military and intelligence advisors.

Today those Cuban advisors helping Maduro remain in power number more than 20,000: teachers, coaches, sports trainers, and a large contingent of spies who have infiltrated Maduro’s military and removed dissidents.

When Maduro took over following Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013, he ramped up the deal:

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Trump, Pompeo Ignore DNI Coats, Go After Cuba, Russia in Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 25, 2019:

This writer noted last week that the war raging in Venezuela isn’t about oil and it’s not really about the Marxist thug Maduro. It’s about the increasing influence of Cuba and Russia in Venezuela. That article explored Trump’s DNI (Director of National Intelligence) Dan Coats’ unwillingness to recognize that influence:

Coats delivered a presentation before the Senate Intelligence Committee reviewing the “2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment” put together by U.S. intelligence agencies. In that 42-page presentation, all he had to say about Cuba was this:

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Why Hasn’t Maduro Been Given the boot?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 18, 2019: 

Why hasn’t Nicolas Maduro performed an “Idi Amin” and moved to Saudi Arabia or Libya or even Russia where his talents as a Marxist thug would be more greatly appreciated? When things started going south for Amin, he fled into exile via helicopter in April 1979, heading first to Libya (where he stayed for a year) and then on to Saudi Arabia (where the royal family not only allowed him sanctuary but paid him a generous subsidy in return for staying out of politics).

He suffered from kidney failure in 2003, and his family pulled the plug on the murderer after being on life support for several weeks. His remains were interred in a tiny cemetery in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea. Few attended the ceremony and fewer still lamented his passing.

Maduro’s Marxist regime should have disappeared months ago for all the sanctions, pressures, and criticism his neighbors have applied to him and his people. For two years, the United States has leveled a steadily increasing campaign against him, starting with sanctions against him and a few of his inner circle.

Those sanctions ratcheted up over time to the point where

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U.S. Sends Aid to Venezuela While Cuba Keeps Maduro in Power

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, February 17, 2019: 

U.S. military cargo planes are delivering more than 240 metric tons of various supplies — medicine, nutritional supplements, personal hygiene supplies, toothpaste, bar soap and the like — to three locations close to Venezuela’s borders. It is being supplied by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), using a few millions of its $27 billion budget to put more pressure on Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro has declared that his military will stop any such aid from entering his country, claiming that it’s a Trojan Horse that is setting the stage for a military invasion by U.S. troops.

USAID administrator Mark Green admitted that

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China Holds “Debt Renegotiation” Talks With Maduro’s Opponent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 13, 2019:  

Publicly, Russia and China continue to support Venezuela’s embattled Marxist leader, Nicolás Maduro. But privately they are moving to cut their losses as his exit appears more likely and more imminent.

Right after President Trump announced White House support for Maduro’s opponent, Juan Guaidó, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Maduro to express his support. At the same time, Putin said that Trump’s “destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”

A few days,

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Putin Reconsidering Support for Maduro

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 6, 2019: 

Dmitry Rozental, an expert on Venezuela at Moscow’s Institute for Latin American Studies, put the matter succinctly. He told Bloomberg on Tuesday, “Today Maduro is in control of the country but with every day he has less leverage as his legitimacy is contested. His chances of hanging on to power are fading.”

According to Andres Landabaso Angulo, a professor at Moscow’s Plekhanov University of Economics, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin just might be better off trying to protect Russian financial interests by dealing instead with Juan Guaidó, the country’s controversial interim president. Said Angula, “At the end of the day, Guaido won’t be such a tragedy for Russia.”

Those Russian interests are substantial,

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Sanctions on Venezuelan Oil Beginning to Bite

This article appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 4, 2019:  

The impact of sanctions applied to Venezuela’s oil company PdVSA is already beginning to be felt, from drivers in Caracas to Gulf Coast refineries to China’s Communist Party head Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Last Friday, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) finalized the rules relating to the oil embargo on imports of Venezuela’s heavy crude that was announced on Monday: “Until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, April 28, 2019, U.S. persons are authorized to engage in all transactions and activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase and importation of petroleum and petroleum products from [Venezuela’s oil company] PdVSA … provided that any payments to PdVSA … are made to a blocked, interest-bearing account located in the United States.” After that date, “purchases by U.S. persons of petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA … will be prohibited.”

Citgo Petroleum, a subsidiary of PdVSA, along with Valero Energy Corp., Chevron Corp., and PBF Energy Inc. have seen this coming for months and

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As the Noose Tightens, Will Maduro Leave Peacefully, or Not?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 30, 2019: 

Maduro has entered his own chamber of horrors: everywhere he looks there are wax-like figures of tyrants from past days and years who have met an untimely death. His decision: will he remain obstinate and join them or will he escape in the dark of night, saving himself and his country?

It’s just a matter of time. With his oxygen hose being clamped shut by the U.S. government on Monday, he faces a certain future: no cash, support for his replacement growing, and his military’s loyalty fading away when he can’t pay them.

In addition, if Maduro retaliates by threatening Americans living in Venezuela and serving in the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, the “option” of U.S. military intervention to protect them will be activated.

He has fewer and fewer friends,

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U.S. Oil Blockade Puts Existential Pressure on Maduro Regime

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 29, 2019:  

Monday’s announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department that it would apply further sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PdVSA accomplished three purposes.

First and most importantly, it ends the $25 million daily flow of desperately needed American dollars into Maduro’s treasury. Second, the blockade of oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries strengthens the position of Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. And third, it will greatly reduce the loyalty of Maduro’s military when he is unable to pay them.

As a bonus,

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Messages From Maduro’s Military Posturing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 28, 2019:  

The hosting of a parade of Russian military hardware in Caracas on Sunday by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivered at least three messages: 1) I am in charge here; 2) With the help of my Russian, Chinese, and Cuban friends, that is; and 3) No tyranny remains in power very long unless it is maintained by force or the threat of force.

The show was enhanced with tank rounds being fired into a nearby hillside and by Maduro exclaiming, “Nobody respects the weak, cowards [or] traitors. In this world what’s respected is the brave, the courageous [and] power.” It was further enhanced with video of soldiers kneeling before the dictator and Maduro bellowing “Are you coup plotters?” and their response: “No!”

These messages were delivered after the defection of Colonel Jose Luis Silva, Maduro’s Washington attaché for the last five years. He told Reuters on Saturday that “the top brass of the military and the executive branch are holding the armed forces hostage. There are many, many, who are unhappy.”

And then he addressed them directly:

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Could U.S. Warships in Taiwan Strait Trigger an EMP Attack?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, January 27, 2019:  

When two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, a Navy spokesman said it was only “routine.” Besides, added U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Commander Tim Gorman, the operation was “in accordance with international law.” It “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added, explaining that “the US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

China has challenged that assessment for years, claiming that it has sovereignty over the island and that Taiwan’s status as a separate Republic of China isn’t legitimate. Accordingly, China sent several military jets near the southern tip of the island late Thursday to make the point.

When the Navy sent two “surface combatants” through the Strait in October and then again in November, China responded by sending multiple warships of its own into the area.

The only thing more dangerous than arrogance on the part of the U.S. Navy is the ignorance of just how China could turn off the lights in America if it wanted to retaliate with prejudice.

As far back as 1996, the communist Chinese government knew that the United States was vulnerable to a nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) set off in the atmosphere above the country. An article published by the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) — China’s military arm — exposed that vulnerability:

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Why Doesn’t Trump Turn Off Maduro’s Oxygen Hose?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 25, 2019:  

A week ago this writer suggested in this space that President Trump was likely to hasten the greatly desired departure of Maduro from his usurped presidency of Venezuela. He apologized for suggesting that Maduro would likely remain in power for as long as he wished:

This writer is happy to declare that his prediction about Maduro’s longevity appears to be dead wrong. Washington has just issued credible threats that it will turn off Maduro’s cash flow by prohibiting exports of crude from his state-owned PdVSA oil company to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

He was excited to learn that the White House was going to make a public statement about it on Wednesday. He was greatly disappointed. Instead it was about Trump’s support for the man likely to replace Maduro, with nothing said about turning off his oil export spigot:

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White House Recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s Interim President While Demonstrators Protest Maduro

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 24, 2019: 

In the White House’s statement of support for Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó (the head of the country’s National Assembly) as interim president of that beleaguered country, President Trump said yesterday:

Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the Interim President of Venezuela. In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolás Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant….

 

I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.

It’s going to take more than words to oust the Marxist dictator. As Guaidó himself said, “It needs to be the people, the military, and the international community [to] lead us to take over.”

The people have already responded, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators (reminiscent of those in 2017) taking to the streets to protest Maduro’s illegitimate presidency on Wednesday. The international community, represented by the Organization of American States (OAS), is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday to consider its role. And there is some evidence that military support of Maduro may be fraying around the edges.

Maduro, however, continues to have the undying support of China, Russia, Cuba, Turkey, and Syria, with China and Russia issuing threats to Trump that he keep his hands off their surrogate. China has provided Maduro with an estimated $65 billion in loans, cash, and investment, while Russia has added substantial financial support as well. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Russian journal International Affairs that U.S. military intervention “would be a catastrophic scenario that would shake the foundations of the development model which we see in Latin America.”

He added:

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Pressure Building to Remove Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 15, 2019:  

Minutes after Marxist Nicolás Maduro inaugurated himself for a second Term as Venezuela’s president last Thursday a majority of the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS) voted not to recognize its legitimacy. This followed disclaimers from 60 countries around the world that his reelection last May was, in the words of President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, “not free, fair or credible.”

His phony inauguration was preceded two days earlier by the announcement of additional sanctions on more of Maduro’s top officials by the U.S. State Department for allegedly

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann