Venezuela expels US diplomats because apparently *we're* the problem

Any story about how badly things are unraveling in Venezuela these days just starts to sound redundant. Following the “election” last weekend where the nation’s tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, declared himself the winner of another term as president, criticism of the clearly bogus election began coming in from around the world. That included the United States, so Maduro decided to respond by ejecting two of our remaining diplomats from his country. (LA Times)

President Nicolas Maduro is expelling the top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela and his deputy for allegedly conspiring against his government.

Maduro made the announcement in a televised address, giving Todd Robinson and his deputy, Brian Naranjo, 48 hours to leave the country.

Tensions have mounted between the two countries following Maduro’s victory in disputed presidential elections on Sunday. The White House has branded the election a sham.

Not to be outdone, the White House played the same game we always wind up engaging in when these situations crop up. We’ve now ordered two Venezuelan diplomats out of the United States. (CNN)

The US has announced the tit-for-tat expulsion of two Venezuelan diplomats in a row sparked by Washington’s criticism of President Nicolas Maduro’s reelection.

The two Venezuelan diplomats were declared “personae non grata” and directed to leave the US within 48 hours, according to a statement from State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

The expulsion was ordered in response to the Maduro regime’s decision to expel two US diplomats earlier this week, the statement added.

At this point, it honestly seems as if there’s really nothing for the United States to do in terms of helping the people of Venezuela. We’ve put just about all the sanctions in place which can be managed, but countries like China and Russia are fine with Maduro’s leadership and are not joining in with the calls for boycotts. When Nikki Haley organized a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the deteriorating situation there, Russia, China, Egypt and Bolivia all refused to attend, putting out a joint statement saying that the U.N. shouldn’t be involved in this. The Russian ambassador described it as, “meddling with the internal domestic affairs of Venezuela.”

Sanctions aren’t going to work as long as some of the other major exporters in the world refuse to cooperate and keep propping Maduro up. It apparently doesn’t matter that members and friends of the ruling socialist party are the only ones down there with enough to eat or that preventable diseases are now killing off the people there. As in most socialist experiments, only the rulers remain wealthy, healthy and well-fed. Some of our adversaries clearly like the cut of Maduro’s gib.

But with so many other troubled spots around the world taking up our attention and resources, what are we supposed to do? A military invasion of Venezuela is out of the question for obvious reasons. And since Maduro knows that, he’s free to thumb his nose at us. It’s a tragic situation for the people of that nation and their neighbors are now dealing with a refugee crisis as starving Venezuelans attempt to flee for their lives. If the United States wants to send any aid in that direction, at this point it might be wiser to withhold it from Venezuela and instead send the money to their neighbors so they can better deal with the asylum seekers.