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

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:

Keep reading…

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:

Keep reading…

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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Bull Market Could Run for 10 More Years; Tariffs Are Helping

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 11, 2019:

Jeffrey Vinik, one of America’s most successful hedge-fund operators, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday that he thinks the current bull market in stocks will run another 10 years. Furthermore, Vinik sees such opportunity in stocks that reflects the thriving U.S. economy that he’s reopening the hedge fund that he closed in 2013.

Vinik managed Fidelity’s Magellan Fund from 1992 to 1996, during which time the fund made its investors rich, averaging

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Could Maduro Be Right?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 14, 2018: 

For years now, Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has been blaming his and his country’s troubles on the U.S. “empire.” On Wednesday he provided some details: the United States government, with the help of Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, is currently funding the training of 734 mercenaries in Colombia for an imminent invasion. The effort has the support of Colombia’s newly elected President Ivan Duque and Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Charged Maduro: “I have no doubts that the U.S. administration, including John Bolton, has plans for Venezuela. I also have absolute and unending faith in Venezuela’s armed forces.” He added: “Venezuela does not kneel down, does not surrender. Venezuela will continue in peace and democracy. Let the American empire know!”

His “armed forces” were enhanced significantly two days earlier with the arrival of four military aircraft from Russia: two Tu-160s and two support aircraft containing various Russian officials and military support personnel. This likely was one of the favors Putin granted Maduro during Maduro’s visit to the Kremlin a week earlier seeking additional assistance for his tottering regime.

Initially, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scoffed at the arrival of the Russian military aircraft by Tweeting: “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela. The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

But behind the scenes an entirely different conversation was taking place between Trump and Putin officials. Some media called it a “spat” but the outcome was announced by the White House on Wednesday: the offending aircraft would be returning to Russia on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was diplomatic: “We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft, which landed in Venezuela [on Monday], will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia.”

Part of the “spat” revolved around Russia’s deliberate projecting of force in the southern hemisphere and a warning to the U.S. that Russia had Venezuela’s back. That warning was backed up by the arrival of two Tu-160s, the largest, heaviest, and fastest swept-wing combat aircraft in the world. Although assumed to be unarmed, the Tu-160 is capable of carrying nuclear-tipped missiles with a range sufficient to reach nearly every major city in the U.S. The fact that Putin sent two of the 16 Tu-160s known to be in his arsenal 6,200 miles to Caracas to make a point no doubt changed the conversation in Washington.

Steve Byas, writing for The New American, pointed out that the U.S. has the same intention in Iran as it has in Venezuela. Wrote Byas, “Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor John Bolton have loudly and publicly called for the overthrow of Iran’s totalitarian theocracy.” Byas quoted Pompeo: “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlawed course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”

This could be applied to Venezuela as well. Sanctions against the Marxist regime there by the Trump administration have the same purpose: behave or else. That the Venezuelan citizenry are suffering is a matter of common knowledge: inflation has destroyed the currency, price controls have created shortages of medicine, food, and essential personal items. Millions have left the country while those remaining are living in desperate poverty. U.S. companies long operating in Venezuela, such as Kellogg and Clorox, have closed up shop, followed on Monday by the announcement from tire maker Goodyear that it was ending operations there as well. Its severance pay wasn’t in the worthless currency, the newly-created “sovereign bolivar” that replaced the previous worthless currency, the “strong bolivar.” Instead the company gave each departing employee something he could barter with: 10 automobile tires.

But is that suffering sufficient reason for the U.S. to intervene? Even if Mr. Bolton has no plans to invade using mercs, one remembers that the “military option,” according to his boss, remains on the table in “resolving” the situation in Venezuela. The Constitution has plenty to say about such behavior, but in Washington such restraints put in place by the founders to keep the chief executive from becoming the chief policeman of the world are ignored. In that brave new rudderless world, the end justifies the means.

When media types asked for a comment from Bolton’s office about Maduro’s charges it had no comment. It didn’t have to.

—————————

Sources:

The Wall Street JournalRussia to Withdraw Jets From Venezuela After Diplomatic Spat With U.S.

APNews.comVenezuela’s Maduro: US leads assassination plot against him

Reuters.comRussia tells U.S. their bombers to leave Venezuela Friday: White House

Reuters.comMaduro accuses U.S. official of plotting Venezuela invasion, gives no evidence

FoxNews.comRussia mum after sending 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela

BBC.comMaduro accuses US of plotting to kill him

BBC.comHow Venezuela’s crisis developed and drove out millions of people

Background on Tu-160 Russian bombers

TheNewAmerican.comWill Neoconservatives Convince Trump to Favor Regime Change in Iran?

Maduro Claims Bolton Ready to Invade Venezuela

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 13, 2018: 

Following last week’s visit to the Kremlin to seeking support from Putin for his tottering regime, Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro welcomed on Monday two Russian supersonic aircraft and two support aircraft, which landed at an airport outside Caracas. Two days later, Maduro accused U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton of plotting a U.S. invasion to remove him from power. Said Maduro on state television: “I have no doubts that the U.S. administration including John Bolton has plans for Venezuela. I also have absolute and unending faith in Venezuela’s [newly enhanced] armed forces.” He added: “Venezuela does not kneel down, does not surrender. Venezuela will continue in peace and democracy. Let the American empire know!”

Maduro supplied a few details about the alleged planned invasion: The U.S. government was funding the training of some 734 mercenaries in neighboring Colombia, along with help from Colombia’s newly elected President Ivan Duque and Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Initially, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scoffed at the arrival of the two Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” supersonic bombers (along with two additional aircraft carrying Russian officials and military support personnel) by tweeting, “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela. The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

But behind the scenes, an entirely different conversation was taking place between Trump and Putin officials. Some media called it a “spat,” but the outcome was announced by the White House on Wednesday: The offending aircraft would be returning to Russia on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was diplomatic: “We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft,which landed in Venezuela [on Monday], will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia.”

Part of the “spat” revolved around Russia’s deliberate projection of force in the southern hemisphere and a warning to the United States that Russia had Venezuela’s back. That warning was backed up by the arrival of those two Tu-160s, the largest, heaviest, and fastest swept-wing combat aircraft in the world. Although the planes landing in Venezuela were assumed to be unarmed, the Tu-160 is capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range sufficient to reach nearly every major city in the United States. The fact that Putin sent two of the 16 Tu-160s known to be in his arsenal 6,200 miles to Caracas to make a point no doubt changed the conversation in Washington.

Bolton’s office made no comment on Maduro’s charges but it didn’t have to. As The New American has pointed out,the United States appears to have the same intention in Venezuela as it has in Iran. As we noted, “Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor John Bolton have loudly and publicly called for the overthrow of Iran’s totalitarian theocracy.” And as Mike Pompeo stated, “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlawed course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”

This could be applied to Venezuela as well. Sanctions against the Marxist regime by the Trump administration have the same message: Behave, or else. That the Venezuelan citizenry are suffering is a matter of common knowledge: Inflation has destroyed the currency, and price controls have created shortages of medicine, food, and essential personal items. Millions have left the country, while those remaining are living in desperate poverty. U.S. companies long operating in Venezuela, such as Kellogg and Clorox, have closed up shop, followed on Monday by the announcement from tire-maker Goodyear that it was ending operations there as well. Its severance pay wasn’t in the worthless currency, the newly-created “sovereign bolivar”that replaced the previous worthless currency, the “strong bolivar.” Instead,the company gave each departing employee something he could barter with: ten automobile tires.

But is the suffering of the Venezuelan citizenry sufficient reason for the United States to intervene? Even if Bolton has no plans to invade using mercs, one remembers that the “military option,”according to his boss, remains on the table for “resolving” the situation in Venezuela. The U.S. Constitution has plenty to say about such behavior, but in Washington such restraints put in place by the Founders to keep the chief executive from becoming the chief policeman of the world are too often ignored.In that brave new rudderless world, the end justifies the means.

Will China Change Its Strategy Over the Next 90 Days?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 5, 2018: 

Donald Trump’s tariff negotiators have 90 days to accomplish the impossible: get China to give up on its plans: first, to be the dominant power in East Asia, and second, to challenge, threaten and then subdue the U.S. in its drive for global hegemony.

One has to give Trump credit. He has rushed in where angels have long feared to tread: first, by exposing the media as being nothing more than the mouthpiece for the Democrat Party; and second, by exposing China’s plans to gain complete global economic and political control.

Consider its “Made in China 2025” policy designed to challenge the West in eleven key areas: information technology, numerical control tools and robotics, new materials, state-of-the-art vehicles (rail, ships, aviation, and electric), agricultural machinery, power equipment, medical devices, and 5G wireless communications technology. As Insight (the Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai) explained:

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90-Day Truce Called in U.S.-China Trade Dispute

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 3, 2018: 

Returning to the United States on Air Force One from Buenos Aires following a two-and-a-half-hour dinner with Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping on Saturday night, President Trump said he had squeezed out “an incredible deal” from the communist leader: “If it happens it [will go] down as one of the largest deals ever made,” he added, explaining: “What I’ll be doing is holding back on [raising] tariffs. China will be opening up. China will be getting rid of tariffs … China will be buying massive amounts of products from us.”

On the other hand,

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Trump-Xi Showdown in Buenos Aires Begins Friday

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 27, 2018: 

The sideshow at the G20 meeting that begins on Friday in Buenos Aires is likely to become the main event: a face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The main event, up to this point, has been the signing of the malignant NAFTA replacement called USMCA by officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Like boxers squaring off in the ring — touching gloves before the bout begins — Trump and Xi have made their positions abundantly clear. In a telephone interview with Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal on Monday afternoon, Trump was asked what he hoped would come out of that meeting. He answered:

Make a fair deal. The only deal that would really be acceptable to me — other than obviously we have to do something on the theft of intellectual property, right? — but the only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States.

 

As far as other countries are concerned, that’s up to them.

 

I’m interested in the United States. They have to open up China to the United States. Otherwise, I don’t see a deal being made. And if it’s not made, we will be taking in billions and billions of dollars [from tariffs, both present and future].

Davis has been covering the nascent trade war between China and the United States for more than a year for the Journal, and he spelled out Xi’s position going into that meeting with Trump: “Chinese officials have said their priority is to convince the U.S. to suspend the planned Jan. 1 increase in tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China to 25% from 10% currently. Beijing also hopes Washington will forgo additional tariff actions against Chinese products and lift existing punitive taxes on China-made steel and aluminum.”

In previous meetings, Trump’s people have presented to ranking Chinese officials a list of 142 trade demands, some of which China has already agreed to accept. Others are negotiable, while the balance are not. As Keynesian economist and liberal commentator Anatole Kaletsky expressed it,

In fact, China has already agreed that it could meet roughly 40% of the 142 trade demands presented by the US earlier this year, and could negotiate a further 40%.

 

It is the remaining 20%, involving technology and industrial subsidies, which are non-negotiable for China. Of course, this 20% covers most of the policies that militant Sinophobes denounce, because they could enable China to challenge US technological and military hegemony by the second half of this century.

That’s why the side meeting in Buenos Aires between Trump and Xi is going to be the main event. It will address existential issues for both countries that go far beyond disputes over intellectual property theft, subsidizing critical industries such as steel and aluminum in order to weaken the United States, and China manipulating its currency to its own advantage. China has built its military and economic power on the back of the United States ever since it joined the World Trade Organization in late 2001, and has made clear its plans to become the hegemon in East Asia. As Trump explained to Davis during his telephone interview,

It all began with the World Trade Organization, a disaster. A disaster. I would actually say that was perhaps — I say NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever made. I would say only — only — challenged by the WTO. That has been — if you look at China, China’s ascension was the day that the WTO was signed. It’s a one-sided deal. They were treated as a — you know, as a growing country, as a — what would you say? How would you say that?

 

Mr. Davis: Developing country. Developing.

 

President Trump: Developing. A developing nation. And no — and it’s never come off. They still — it’s ridiculous. The World Trade Organization is absolutely unfair to the United States, and they’re going to have to change their ways. They’re going to have to change.

That’s Trump’s opening bid and, in keeping with the president’s negotiating style, will likely lead not to any sort of agreement with Xi but with an agreement to begin negotiations over an agreement. This is what Trump does best.

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