The push for U.S. involvement in Venezuela is getting stronger and stronger – to the point where it would be more shocking if it didn’t happen.
Venezuela National Assembly President Juan Guaidó intimated yesterday he’s leaning more and more in favor of the “international community” coming in to force dictator-in-chief Nicolas Maduro out.
Los acontecimientos de hoy me obligan a tomar una decisión: plantear a la Comunidad Internacional de manera formal que debemos tener abiertas todas las opciones para lograr la liberación de esta Patria que lucha y seguirá luchando.
¡La esperanza nació para no morir, Venezuela!
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 24, 2019
Guiadó tweet, translated, reads, “Today’s events force me to make a decision: to raise the international community formally that we must have open all the options to achieve the liberation of this country that struggles and will continue to fight.”
Combine this with comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on FOX News Sunday sure makes it sound like we’re going in.
Every option is on the table. We’re going to do the things that need to be done to make sure … that democracy reigns and that there’s a brighter future for the people of Venezuela.
He was a bit more explicit on CNN’s State of the Union (emphasis mine).
So, yesterday was a tragic day, multiple deaths, but mostly a tyrant who denied food for hungry people and medicine to those who were sick.
There’s talk about four or five deaths yesterday, but the truth is, there have been hundreds and hundreds starved to death by Maduro.
America’s policy has been very clear. We have supported the Venezuelan people. We will continue to do that. There will be a meeting of the Lima Group on Monday where further action will be contemplated. There’s more sanctions to be had. There’s more humanitarian assistance, I think, that we can provide.
I think we will find other ways to make sure that food gets to the people who need it. And we will.We will ultimately, I believe, and the Venezuelan people will, ultimately, I believe, hold accountable those who have done so much harm to the fundamental basic rights of the people of Venezuela.
Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to meet with Guaidó tomorrow in Colombia and all the U.S. is promising is the possibility of more sanctions against Maduro. Via Reuters.
A senior U.S. official told reporters on Friday that Pence would be prepared to announce new sanctions at the meeting if the aid was turned back, – adding to pressure from sanctions on state-owned oil company PDVSA.
“If there is any type of violence, or if there is any type of negative reaction from the hierarchy of the Venezuela armed forces, there may also be measures that are announced by the vice president and other countries in regards to closing even further the international financial circle,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Considering the fact the aid was rejected means sanctions are probably coming, if not the “other ways” Pompeo mentioned on CNN. I’m not convinced the sanctions will actually do anything but solidify Maduro’s hold amongst his supporters. It’s possible more members of the military will defect to the opposition, but will it be enough? Probably not.
There’s no doubt Venezuela is a mess, and Maduro is a tyrant. But this notion the U.S. military will end up being the saviors of the country is a bit laughable. Libya. Iraq. Syria. Yemen. Afghanistan. All these are examples of why military intervention doesn’t work. I know people like to point towards the 1989 action in Panama as a U.S. ‘success’ but The New York Times reported in 2001 the recovery had more than a few hiccups.
Panamanian officials estimated that more than 10,000 people were left homeless after the invasion, which ended with General Noriega’s capture and extradition to the United States, where he was convicted of drug trafficking in 1992.
International human rights groups like Americas Watch later said United States and Panamanian forces had violated the rules of war in regard to endangering civilians in the attack on El Chorrillo, finding that American troops had not given civilians sufficient warning. Some residents also blamed forces loyal to General Noriega for setting fires that raged through their neighborhood.
The only certainty is that El Chorrillo’s people were caught in the middle.
”We were not acting in a way that hurt anybody,” said Mrs. Camargo, who spent more than a year living in a United States Air Force hangar that had been converted into an emergency shelter. ”We did not knock down any towers, like in New York, you understand. Yet we had this done to us, when they just should have come in and grabbed that man before…”
[R]esidents are not happy with the results. They said that although the Panamanian government had received tens of millions of dollars from the United States in aid, their housing was cramped, crumbling and leaky.
One group of residents has approached the Organization of American States to ask it to persuade the Panamanian government or the United States to provide a $30,000 payment for each family. Earlier this year the police used tear gas to stop a demonstration by disgruntled residents and arrested some of the protesters.
”How is it possible that more than 11 years after the invasion, people have not gotten back all that they lost, but still have the trauma?” said Briseida de Aparicio, one of the residents seeking more payments from the government.
One can only guess Venezuela will probably end up like Panama, should the U.S. get its military involved in the South American country.