Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Venezuela is not our war

I am sure I’m not alone in taking a pause to this announcement;
The United States announced late Monday that it is pulling the remaining staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation in the South American nation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following four days of blackouts around the country and a deepening political crisis.

The U.S. has led an international effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who vows to hold a new presidential election. Guaido is backed by some 50 countries, while Maduro maintains support from countries such as China, Russia and Cuba.
Most CDRSalamander readers know their history enough to remember that removing embassy staff can be a prelude to military action. It isn’t a sure thing, but has a track record.

Especially when there are a lot of people who should know better talking about why we should go in to Venezuela – it would be a crime of omission for those who make a habit of commenting in the natsec arena not to put their markers down, again.

I’ve stated this a few times on twitter, so I’ll do it here too; there is zero reason anyone should expect a net positive outcome from US military intervention in Venezuela. I don’t care about the Cubans. I don’t care about the Russians. I don’t care about the Chinese.

We have a history in the Caribbean, Central & South America with direct military intervention. It isn’t a track record of success, and it is not in the long term appreciated by the people who live there. We do have a better record of non-direct intervention and assistance and that is the model we should continue to use.

Yes, the condition of the 32 million citizens of Venezuela is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy of their own creation.

They once had the greatest per-capita GDP in Latin America. They once had many freedoms, but they threw it away for the promises of a leftist populist and his socialist snake oil. They voted for it over and over and over. They allowed themselves to be disarmed. They allowed their military to become a corrupt tool of the government. They taunted and threatened much of their citizens who had the education, capital, and connections to lead a resistance – so those people are now in the USA and other Latin American nations getting on with their lives.

32 million Venezuelans. That is roughly the same population of The Netherlands and Belgium combined. It is rife with crime and corruption. They have a history of anti-Americanism. Sure, some expats are calling for the USA to intervene militarily – but we’ve played that fool before. Not again.

We don’t need their oil. We don’t need their affection. We cannot afford the military adventure looking for another dragon to slay.

If a single military boot needs to go on the ground, then let it be Brazil (population 209 million) in conjunction with Colombia (population 49 million) to do the wet work.

The best solution is for the Venezuelans to solve this problem on Venezuelan terms. Peaceful as they are doing now, or if that is not tolerable, then by armed rebellion. Once they do that with some success, perhaps they will get some international help.

Of course, having disarmed their citizens a few years ago, by design, it will be difficult to extract cities and areas from the control of government forces - but it can be done.

What should not be done is to have US military forces have anything to do with overthrowing the government of Venezuela – regardless of how unpleasant it seems.

We are not a missionary nation. We are not a global empire. Every time we forget that, we fail.

The Venezuelans marched behind banners stating, “Socialismo o Muerte” – well, they are going to have both.

Let them be an example for others so tragedy such as this wont’ be repeated again soon.

If you think we should intervene militarily, then feel free to lead a MP company in one of the myriad slums run by drug lords.

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