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With U.S. military action, Venezuela could become the Libya of the Caribbean

SBUS-CXK

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Venezuelans clashed with members of the Venezuelan national guard near the border with Brazil on Sunday. (Joedson Alves/EPA-EFE)
By Francisco Toro
February 25 at 11:45 AM
The risk of war in Venezuela is rising dangerously. For Americans who had come to think of President Trump invading Venezuela as something of a punch line, a rude awakening could be in the works.

On Saturday, Venezuela’s serially appalling regime crossed a number of new red lines in its crusade to keep food and medicine from reaching desperately hungry and sick people, setting fire to trucks carrying humanitarian aid and deploying paramilitary gangs to kill Venezuelanswho went to the border to try to force the aid in. The regime allowed those gangs to shoot into the territory of both its big neighbors: Colombia and Brazil. The clashes moved military action to dislodge the Venezuelan regime from fringe speculation to serious policy discussion.

Here’s what Americans need to know about this prospect. Venezuela is, in many ways, a failed state. Much of the territory is lightly governed, if at all. The official Venezuelan state devotes the bulk of its time and energy to stealing the nation’s oil resources and repressing its political opponents, leaving little room to worry about the basics of governance.

As a result, vast swaths of Venezuela are controlled not by President Nicolás Maduro’s government but by a baffling proliferation of armed nonstate actors that include powerful prison gangs, Colombian guerrillas from the ELN or from splinter groups of the disbanded FARC, various ideologically infused “colectivos” — in effect, paramilitary groupssubscribing to a vaguely Marxist ideology and allied with the government. These groups make a handsome living from any number of illegal activities: trafficking cocaine, illegal gold mining, extortion, human trafficking, smuggling — you name it.

Travel around Venezuela and you soon realize it’s these groups, and not the official Chavista state, who are effectively in charge of much of the territory. In many places, they live in a sort of uneasy, tacit alliance with the military — they buy weapons from them, passing on kickbacks and handling the dirty work the soldiers would rather not do.

The official armed forces, by contrast, are a mess. Obsessed with the specter of military plots, Maduro spends more time spying on his own troops than leading them. Cuban agents oversee the entire military establishment, running a counterintelligence force that systematically listens in on officers’ communications and will arrest and torture you at any sign of dissent. The actual soldiers, for their part, are mostly an afterthought: There’s often not quite enough to eat in mess halls, and conditions certainly impact readiness and morale. Training has been kept below the bare minimum for years, due to budget problems. It’s not much of a fighting force.

And yet, if the United States does go on the offensive, it’s clear it’s the Venezuelan military they’ll target first. Dysfunctional as it is, the armed forces have fixed installations — radar positions, air force bases, barracks — that could be targeted by a cruise-missile-guidance system.

The paramilitary gangs who actually control the territory, for their part, operate from civilian quarters. No U.S. military plan would be able to target them, even if it set out to do that.

The best hope for Venezuela’s future is that its dysfunctional military forces manage to break free from the Cuban counterintelligence machine and rebel against the dictatorship. If they were better led, the armed forces would have some chance to subdue the lawless nonstate actors who’ve ended up in control of Venezuela. But cowed by the intensive spying they’re subjected to, Venezuela’s generals are unlikely to rebel against Maduro unless they calculate U.S. military action is genuinely imminent.

To break the logjam in Caracas, then, the threat of U.S. military action could be enormously helpful. But here’s the tricky part: Actual U.S. military action to destroy the Venezuelan military would be a catastrophe. It would remove the one actor that might eventually be able to regain control over the country and deliver it instead into the hands of a wild variety of criminal gangs. Libya in the Caribbean.

The best solution now, then, is a strategy designed to convince Venezuela’s generals that, unless they topple Maduro in short order, they’ll be bombed out of existence — a message that should be delivered by people who understand actually bombing them out of existence would be a disaster. What the United States needs to do, in other words, is bluff, by taking further steps that raise Venezuelan generals’ perception of a threat. But it also needs to exercise restraint to prevent the unmitigated disaster an actual war would bring.

It’s a delicate, demanding task. And we need to trust the Trump administration to pull it off without a misstep.

God help us all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...ecome-libya-caribbean/?utm_term=.f7746d19abc5
 
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Hamartia Antidote

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In other words under Chavez and Maduro the country has fallen into a chaos of being run by gangs and thugs loyal to Chavez’s Marxist views...and this is news?
 

Hamartia Antidote

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I know, I have seen a TV program.... americans generally believe that violation airspace is not an invasion.
Well that’s true we invade China almost every week by flying over or sailing passed “your” islands.

We just invade your country over and over at will and you roll over like a pet! I’ll throw you a treat. LOL!

Most Chinese don’t realize we are invading rhem.
 
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maithil

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I don't think many Americans would mind if Venezuela turns into active war zone. As long as US troops are not there. Any such result will only make billions invested by certain countries to cultivate socialist leaders go poof.

Also shows how desperate Venezuelan condition has become under Chavez and Maduro.
 

gambit

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I don't think many Americans would mind if Venezuela turns into active war zone. As long as US troops are not there. Any such result will only make billions invested by certain countries to cultivate socialist leaders go poof.

Also shows how desperate Venezuelan condition has become under Chavez and Maduro.
Sorry -- the highlighted -- but Americans would mind if Venezuela descends into civil war. Not because US proper is at risk of peripheral issues like refugees or civil war combatants using our territory for their conflicts, but because instability's consequences tends to have secondary effects no matter where you are. Countries that are direct neighbors to Venezuela will be distracted as they have to divert vital resources to reinforce their own internal stability. Like it or not, trade is second in importance to stability and anything that threatens internal stability, trade will decline, which can, and often does, contributes to increasing instability.

http://www.ecowas.int/ecowas-civil-society-work-towards-consolidating-conflict-prevention-efforts/

ECOWAS have militarily intervened in Africa's civil wars when negotiations failed.

Chavez and Maduro were not good for Venezuela, to put it mildly. When Venezuela begins its decline, there was no need for US to 'meddle' into anything internal to the country, no matter what the loony conspiracy believers said. History regarding socialism/communism did the work for US. We want to buy Venezuelan goods, including oil. American men to meet hot Venezuelan chicks and American women want to meet the typical 'Latino lover' guys. We want dollars flowing in and out of Venezuela. We want to have positive reviews of the country from our tourists so even more Americans can go there. We want Venezuelan food the same way we love Cuban sandwiches and coffee. Americans are always open to cultural influences from other countries and Venezuelan culture would be welcomed.

Socialism failed Venezuela and the US is a convenient scapegoat.
 

SBUS-CXK

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Well that’s true we invade China almost every week by flying over or sailing passed “your” islands.

We just invade your country over and over at will and you roll over like a pet! I’ll throw you a treat. LOL!

Most Chinese don’t realize we are invading rhem.
So we can't believe that americans. you know the American invasion of the whole world. like Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Grenada, Egypt, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua, Iraq, Libya, Syria......

Interestingly, Americans say that China threatens the world. and Chinese warships or aircraft "Non-professional action" threat US warships or aircraft. Obviously. Americans are accustomed to lying

It's all because of American concerns about its global hegemony and make it crazy. :lol:

Calm down, you can still invade Venezuela.:enjoy:
 

gambit

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Interestingly, Americans say that China threatens the world.
Interestingly, many -- especially Asia -- believes it.

...and Chinese warships or aircraft "Non-professional action" threat US warships or aircraft.
Interestingly, all professional seamen and airmen believes it.

Calm down, you can still invade Venezuela.:enjoy:
Calm down, the US is not going to invade Venezuela. The country have gone past that point of necessity. Too bad your 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' is not much help. :enjoy:
 

casual

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Sorry -- the highlighted -- but Americans would mind if Venezuela descends into civil war. Not because US proper is at risk of peripheral issues like refugees or civil war combatants using our territory for their conflicts, but because instability's consequences tends to have secondary effects no matter where you are. Countries that are direct neighbors to Venezuela will be distracted as they have to divert vital resources to reinforce their own internal stability. Like it or not, trade is second in importance to stability and anything that threatens internal stability, trade will decline, which can, and often does, contributes to increasing instability.

http://www.ecowas.int/ecowas-civil-society-work-towards-consolidating-conflict-prevention-efforts/

ECOWAS have militarily intervened in Africa's civil wars when negotiations failed.

Chavez and Maduro were not good for Venezuela, to put it mildly. When Venezuela begins its decline, there was no need for US to 'meddle' into anything internal to the country, no matter what the loony conspiracy believers said. History regarding socialism/communism did the work for US. We want to buy Venezuelan goods, including oil. American men to meet hot Venezuelan chicks and American women want to meet the typical 'Latino lover' guys. We want dollars flowing in and out of Venezuela. We want to have positive reviews of the country from our tourists so even more Americans can go there. We want Venezuelan food the same way we love Cuban sandwiches and coffee. Americans are always open to cultural influences from other countries and Venezuelan culture would be welcomed.

Socialism failed Venezuela and the US is a convenient scapegoat.
As bad as Venezuela is now under Maduro, it's nothing compared to Syria or Liberia. Venezuelan citizens need to understand that and oppose civil war.
 

SBUS-CXK

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Interestingly, many -- especially Asia -- believes it.


Interestingly, all professional seamen and airmen believes it.


Calm down, the US is not going to invade Venezuela. The country have gone past that point of necessity. Too bad your 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' is not much help. :enjoy:
...............................................................
???????????????????????????????????
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was shocked and helpless.:(

Interestingly, many -- especially Asia -- believes it.


Interestingly, all professional seamen and airmen believes it.


Calm down, the US is not going to invade Venezuela. The country have gone past that point of necessity. Too bad your 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' is not much help. :enjoy:
1, It's shocking that you believe Asians don't think the United States is a threat to the world.

2, Yes, American aircraft are very "professional" to bomb Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria(then you tell me that Asians believe that China threatens the world)...US warships very "professional" to hit cruise ship....

3, Tell me - who believes in Americans?
 

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