It looks like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is preparing for war with the United States. He has now asked his army to make sure it has “rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready,” as the rhetoric heats up even further between the US and Venezuela. Maduro just asked the citizens of Venezuela to eat rabbits they have kept as pets to help stave off starvation in his country. I doubt that will do much good. On average, each person in Venezuela has lost over 20 pounds since his dictatorship kicked into high gear. They are eating pets and zoo animals. Next stop… cannibalism.
In the meantime, Maduro is giving what food they have to his military. They are eliminating their prison problem by starving the inmates to death. That food also goes to the military. But it is questionable if the military there is getting enough to be in fighting condition or to stay that way. Maduro made the declaration on Monday during a military exercise in Maracay. This was only two days after the Trump administration signed new restrictions imposing bans on the entry of some Venezuelan government officials and their families into the US.
“We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace,” Maduro proclaimed. The pompous despot is busy prancing around in military garb and trying to look powerful. One minute he says he wants prosperity for Venezuela, the next he says, “we need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready…to defend every inch of the territory if needs be.” He doesn’t want prosperity, he wants complete control, belying the murderous communist that he really is.
The government issued the rabbits to citizens some time ago. About two weeks ago, Maduro told them to start eating the bunnies for protein. He is calling for this so they won’t starve to death because of the horrific food shortages there. After being given the rabbits, many people who took part in a pilot project for the rabbit-eating initiative placed bow ties on the bunnies, kept them as pets and cuddled with them in bed. Now, many of them are having a hard time killing the pets they’ve grown to love. But in the end, hunger will win out sadly.
The hard cold truth in Venezuela these days is that there is no food or medicine left. To survive, academics and executives have started selling their bodies as prostitutes to keep their families alive. Forget about medical treatment… if you are ill and need a doctor, you aren’t going to make it there. The weak and infirm are the first to die off during something like this. Maduro’s and his predecessor Hugo Chavez’s socialist policies have brought this down on his people. Communism always ends the same way… in blood, misery and death. Always.
Sadly, the U.S. has a few too many balls in the air right now to dive into this debacle. The idea that we’re preparing to invade Caracas is, of course, absurd hyperbole, but it looks like Nicolas Maduro has some new, powerful friends to help spread his message. Whatever hope remained for the citizens of Venezuela to have a free, prosperous future with democratic representation is quickly fading.
Respect the flag. Criticize the president.
However, the antagonism between the US and Venezuela has a long history to it.
Ties between Caracas and Washington witnessed a major turning point in the 20th Century under Theodore Roosevelt and his successor Howard Taft, who used the “big stick” policy and “dollar diplomacy” to raise US’ diplomatic profile in its backyard: Latin America and the Carribeans.
The Venezuelan president, wearing military garb, also said he wanted prosperity for his country, but added “we need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready…to defend every inch of the territory if needs be.”
In August, the US slapped Maduro and 20 other top officials with financial sanctions. We also banned American finance companies from lending money to Venezuela’s government and its state-run oil company. However, even though the country can’t pay their debts, I understand Russia and China are sending funds to them. President Trump warned in August that he wouldn’t rule out a “military option” to resolve Venezuela’s political struggles. We are quickly approaching that point. I just hope that most of the people don’t succumb to starvation before we do something.
Last week, Trump told the UN General Assembly that the US was ready to act to restore democracy in Venezuela, after months of deadly protests and economic chaos. I’m not sure if Russia and China have their boys down there, but I suspect we will find out before long and it’s a good bet they do. Maduro oversaw air and ground forces simulating a troop landing involving tanks and missiles. Russian aircraft flew overhead as part of the exercise. He reminded his forces that Venezuela had what he called “the most modern rocket system the armed forces has ever had at any time in its history.” More importantly, he’s got Russia and China behind him. Just like North Korea, Venezuela is a proxy for foreign powers. And the war drums are getting louder by the day.