Cleaning Up the Socialist Disaster in Venezuela: Trump “Not Going to Rule Out a Military Option”
I’ll say one thing for our President, he is certainly not the least bit afraid to do whatever it takes to get somebody’s attention.
The Wall Street Journal reports that
President Donald Trump warned of possible military action in Venezuela on Friday, even as he amplified threats of an armed response to North Korea missile buildup.
Mr. Trump said a military option is possible in Venezuela, though he provided few details, while the president also stepped up his warnings to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he spoke at a press conference at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday.
“I’m not going to rule out a military option,” Mr. Trump told reporters when asked about the situation in the South American country. “Venezuela is a mess.”
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary,” he said.
The remarks came a day after President Nicolás Maduro said in a speech to the newly formed constituent assembly that he wanted to speak with Mr. Trump by phone or meet him when he visits the U.S. next month for the United Nations General Assembly. “If he is so interested in Venezuela, here I am,” Mr. Maduro said Thursday. “Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand.”
But Mr. Maduro also reiterated his criticism of Mr. Trump as the leader of an “imperial power,” calling him a threat to the global order. “With Donald Trump, a dangerous class of lobbyists, multimillionaires and extreme right-wingers reached the presidency, capturing all of the positions of power in the government,” Mr. Maduro said. “Today, they are threatening world peace.”
On Friday, Venezuela’s Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said in a Twitter message that Mr. Trump’s comments are “the gravest and most insolent threat ever made against the fatherland of Bolivar,” referring to the country’s independence hero.
A Pentagon spokesman said Friday that the Department of Defense had received no orders from the White House regarding Venezuela and referred all questions on the matter to the White House.
The White House later said that Mr. Maduro on Friday, before Mr. Trump made his remarks, had requested a call with the U.S. president. Mr. Trump refused the request, citing Mr. Maduro’s steps that the U.S. has characterized as “the path of dictatorship,” the White House said.
“The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime. President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country,” the White House said.
Venezuela has been gripped by antigovernment protest and unrest, with some 120 people killed over the past four months, according to Luisa Ortega, the country’s attorney general who was ousted from office for her activism against Mr. Maduro.
Mr. Maduro has been consolidating power in Caracas in ways deemed dictatorial by American officials and which have led to tightened sanctions against his regime.
Venezuelan opposition supporters had mixed reaction to Mr. Trump’s announcement.
“I’m worried by these remarks because they could deepen the political, social and economic crisis of the country,” said Caracas advertisement agent Carmen Gonzalez.
But more radical government opponents said military intervention is the only way to get rid of the authoritarian government.
“This government has ruined us, has destroyed this country. I don’t see this [military] option as bad as long as this government goes,” said Angelica Azuaje, an architect from a Caracas suburb of Los Teques.
Political analysts said Mr. Trump’s comments might inadvertently bolster the Venezuelan president by seeming to affirm what the late Hugo Chávez and Mr. Maduro have been saying for years: That the U.S. is out to get the country’s Socialist government.
“This is made to order for Maduro,” said David Smilde, a specialist on Latin America and Venezuela at Tulane University. “Domestically, this will lead to 24/7 state media coverage. It could lead to heightened state of alert in the military and perhaps more repression of the opposition. All of these things are under way, but it provides an even more conducive environment for it.”
Opposition leaders Friday moved to distance themselves from Mr. Trump’s comments.
“Insolent Trump!” Henri Falcon, opposition governor of Lara state, said in a Twitter message. “This mess is ours! Sort out your own, of which you have plenty.”
Polls in the country show less than 10% of Venezuelans support a military solution to the country’s crisis.
In speeches, Mr. Maduro often defends his administration’s policies and crackdown on critics by saying the country’s political and economic crises have been caused by opponents and foreign powers meddling in Venezuela’s affairs. He has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. wants to invade the oil-rich nation and has called Mr. Trump an “emperor.”
“Maduro is going to play this like a fiddle,” said Frank Mora, the former undersecretary of defense for the Western Hemisphere at the Pentagon during the Obama administration. “For much less, he has accused the U.S. of imperialism. And now he’s got the president of the U.S. talking about military action. I mean, this just plays right in to [his] whole narrative.”
One possible rationale for Mr. Trump’s comments could be to try to ratchet up pressure on Venezuela to persuade Congress and other countries to levy stronger economic sanctions against the nation, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas, a nonprofit that focuses on the region.
“Compared to military action, stronger economic sanctions may not seem so bad in response, so it may open up that option more,” Mr. Farnsworth said.
The comments could have a negative effect on neighboring countries, which have become outspoken about Venezuela’s authoritarianism. On Friday, Peru said it was expelling Venezuela’s ambassador, giving him five days to leave the country.
In a region with a long history of U.S. military intervention, many governments will be wary of seeming to support any U.S. action.
“At a time when—finally—Venezuela’s neighbors are coming together to criticize and isolate and delegitimize Maduro, the president makes a statement that I think can have a chilling effect on that process, because no one wants to be associated with an effort that might seem to support any possible U.S. effort to invade a Latin American country,” Mr. Mora said.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the region next week, in a trip aimed at reinforcing regional opposition to the Venezuelan regime, boosting the Colombian peace process, reversing a tide of coca cultivation, and laying the groundwork for potential bilateral trade deals.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury Department placed sanctions on eight members of the Venezuelan legislature, due in part to their close ties to Mr. Maduro.
Despite being ousted from her post, Ms. Ortega is continuing her investigations into corruption. Her probes, though certain to be ignored at home, could lead to more sanctions and greater financial isolation for Mr. Maduro’s government, according to lawyers and human-rights activists.
I can remember a long, long time ago (in a galaxy far away) when I was in elementary school. We put on a presentation for our parents about South America. I played Simon Bolivar, the “Founding Father” of Venezuela. I can remember learning about how beautiful and modern a country that Venezuela was.
Now, a half-century later, that once verdant land resembles Hiroshima after the Enola Gay dropped the Atomic Bomb.
Allow me to explain, boys and girls…
On a Sunday, in October of 2008, outside of Toledo, Ohio, Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Hussein Obama met a plumber named Joe Wurzelbacher. Joe, who owned his own plumbing company, dared to ask Obama about his proposed tax hikes. In fact, he told Obama that he did not want to pay higher taxes, he was already paying enough. Obama told him,
Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”
…I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.
Obama was talking about the part of Marxist Theory known as “Socialism”.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Socialism is
any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
If you listen to Modern American Liberals, “Socialism” is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
The problem is Socialism has never worked in any country which has installed it as a form of government.
The failed application of the Marxist Theory of Socialism is responsible for the desolate, impoverished wasteland that is the country of Venezuela, a country which has been “sharing the wealth” for decades.
WSJ.com posted the following story on their website a few months ago…
Jean Pierre Planchart, a year old, has the drawn face of an old man and a cry that is little more than a whimper. His ribs show through his skin. He weighs just 11 pounds.His mother, Maria Planchart, tried to feed him what she could find combing through the trash—scraps of chicken or potato. She finally took him to a hospital in Caracas, where she prays a rice-milk concoction keeps her son alive.
“I watched him sleep and sleep, getting weaker, all the time losing weight,” said Ms. Planchart, 34 years old. “I never thought I’d see Venezuela like this.”
Her country was once Latin America’s richest, producing food for export. Venezuela now can’t grow enough to feed its own people in an economy hobbled by the nationalization of private farms, and price and currency controls.
Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation—estimated by the International Monetary Fund to reach 720% this year—making it nearly impossible for families to make ends meet. Since 2013, the economy has shrunk 27%, according to local investment bank Torino Capital; imports of food have plunged 70%.
Hordes of people, many with children in tow, rummage through garbage, an uncommon sight a year ago. People in the countryside pick farms clean at night, stealing everything from fruits hanging on trees to pumpkins on the ground, adding to the misery of farmers hurt by shortages of seed and fertilizer. Looters target food stores. Families padlock their refrigerators.
Three in four Venezuelans said they had lost weight last year, an average of 19 pounds, according to the National Poll of Living Conditions, an annual study by social scientists. People here, in a mix of rage and humor, call it the Maduro diet after President Nicolás Maduro.
For more than a month, Venezuelans have protested against the increasingly authoritarian government of Mr. Maduro; by Friday, more than 35 people had been reported killed in the unrest. The country’s Food Ministry, the president’s office, the Communications Ministry and the Foreign Ministry didn’t return calls or emails requesting comment for this article.
Of course they didn’t. You don’t expect them to admit that Socialism is has destroyed their county, do you?
If it were up to Modern American Liberals, the minority political ideology in America, our Sovereign Nation would be traveling down the same ill-fated path that brought Venezuela to ruin.
Over the past couple of years, Modern American Liberals have been so desperate to “radically change” our country that they have been making the outlandish claim that Jesus Christ was a Socialist, during their arguments on the Internet defending their attempts to install Socialism as America’s Form of Government.
In an opinion piece for ChristianPost.com, Christian Talk Show Host Julie Roys gave the following Five Reasons that Socialism itself is not based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
1. Socialism is Based on a Materialistic Worldview
According to socialists like Bernie Sanders, the greatest problem in the world is the unequal distribution of wealth.
His website declares: “The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.”
This betrays a fundamentally materialistic worldview, which is the basis of socialism.
To socialists, all that really exists is the material world.
2. Socialism Punishes Virtue
Socialists want to distribute wealth to individuals according to their need, regardless of virtue.
As Karl Marx, famously said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
However, whenever any institution provides aid, it runs the risk of removing God-designed rewards and consequences. It can punish those who are industrious by making them pay for those who are not. And, it can reward those who aren’t industrious by giving them the fruits of another man’s labor. This is precisely what socialism does.
Interestingly, Marx mooched off others his whole life, and failed to provide for his wife and children.
As Aristotle once noted, “Men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives.”
The Bible teaches that aid should be tied to responsibility. First, anyone who refuses to work should be refused aid.
3. Socialism Endorses Stealing
Barack Obama once defended his socialist policies to a little girl by saying, “We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?”
That sounds pretty Christian, right? What Christian wouldn’t endorse sharing your abundance with someone who has nothing? However, Obama wasn’t endorsing people voluntarily sharing their wealth with others; he was endorsing the government forcibly taking a piece of the pie from one person and giving it to someone else. Put another way, that’s saying that if you have three cars and your neighbor has none, the government has a right to take your car and give it to your neighbor. That’s not Christian; that’s stealing!
But, socialists don’t believe in private property. And, some Christian socialists actually assert that the Bible doesn’t either. That’s preposterous.
Both the Old Testament and New Testament unequivocally affirm private property. We can’t even obey the eighth commandment to not steal, unless we accept the notion of private ownership. Nor, can we steward our money as the Bible commands if the state owns our money, not us.
4. Socialism Encourages Envy and Class Warfare
Socialists demonize the rich, blaming all of society’s problems on them.
Bernie Sanders once posted to his Facebook Page: “Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.”
Here, Sanders is mimicking Karl Marx, who viewed history as a series of class struggles between the rich and the poor — and advocated overthrowing the ruling class.
Scripture strongly warns the rich and powerful not to oppress the poor.
In fact, Proverbs 14:31 says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for his maker . . .”
But, Sanders — and other Leftists, including Hillary Clinton — go far beyond decrying specific acts of injustice. They basically condemn an entire class of people simply for possessing wealth. And, they encourage those who are poor to overthrow them. In fact, Clinton once said the U.S. economy required a “toppling” of the wealthiest 1%.
The rich are not causing all the problems in American society. People like Bill Gates are not acquiring wealth by stealing from the masses. They’re creating great products, which produce wealth, and actually provide jobs for many people. But, even if they were exploiting the poor, nowhere does Scripture support the have-nots demanding money from the haves. Instead, it teaches that we should not covet (Exodus 20:17) and should be content in all circumstances (Phil. 4:11-13).
5. Socialism Seeks to Destroy Marriage & Family
A little known fact about socialism is that, from its beginning, it has sought to destroy marriage and family. Grove City Professor Paul Kengor explains this in detail in his book, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Marriage and Family. Essentially, what socialism seeks is for the state to replace the family. That way, it can indoctrinate children in its Leftist way of thinking, and remove from them any notions of God and religion.
Friedrich Engels, co-author with Marx of the “The Communist Manifesto,” once wrote that the society he envisioned would be one where “the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair.”
Similarly today, Bernie Sanders calls for a “revolution” in childcare and for the government to provide early childhood education beginning with children as young as six-weeks-old. And, he’s a proud supporter of gay marriage — what Kengor calls “communism’s Trojan Horse” to secure the final takedown of traditional marriage.
To socialists, what Bernie describes is a utopia. But, to Christians, it’s a dystopia. That’s because there’s nothing Christian about socialism — and there’s absolutely no way Jesus would ever support it.
America was not founded to be a Socialist Nation.
We are a Constitutional Republic.
I was sitting at my computer last night after work, trying to think of some pithy words and elegant phrases, with which to summarize average Americans’ continuing battle against America’s wannabe Socialists, when I remembered what the late great American Movie Star and Outspoken Patriot, John Wayne, said about the subject, back in 1975. It could have just as easily have been yesterday.
…I always thought I was a liberal but I came up terribly surprised when I found I was a right wing conservative extremist…I have always listened to every human being I’ve ever met about how I should feel. But this so-called new liberal group… they never listen to your point of view and they make a decision as to what you think and they’re articulate enough and in control of enough of the press to force that image out for the average person. For some reason, maybe it’s these pictures, they have not been able to do that with me…it hasn’t affected my career in popularity in spite of the fact that they’ve tried to make them do it. There isn’t a hell of a lot we can do to change human behavior. We keep making laws to try to change human behavior but we can’t do it…You’re being conned into Keynesianism and socialism now but it isn’t going to stop the selfishness of human behavior. It isn’t going to stop the greed. If you take $20 and give a dollar to every son of a b!tch in the room, you come back a year later one of the [email protected]@rds will have most of the money. It’s just human nature. We’re never gonna whip it with a lot of laws.
As communication gets better and you make people conscious of somebody in trouble, starving or something like that, the average person will help…I think there are people who try to affect a thinking where they know more than some other son of a b!tch and try to pull a false impression on what human nature is. We’ve proven we go back to hope at the first opportunity…and bam they’re out there ready to grab it. So we are optimistic; we have to be optimistic. What else would we be if you lose optimism?”
The Duke was a prophet.
I believe that one of the main reasons that Liberals are continuing to show their collective as…err…backsides is they fact that they know, in their cold dark hearts, that Trump is going to succeed, as the newly released job numbers are showing, in bringing back jobs and, in turn, reviving America’s near-extinct Middle Class.
Because if capitalism is working the way it is supposed to, under the watchful eye of an AMERICAN President, who actually has some business acumen gained through Real World Expereience, the Left’s cry for “Socialism” is going to fall on deaf ears.
And, that is a good thing.
Because as Lady Margaret Thatcher once so famously quipped,
The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
…and, you end up like Venezuela.
Until He Comes,