Down south in Venezuela, things continue to head south. Excerpt:
International pressure mounted against Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro on Sunday, with Washington vowing to “take action” after opposition efforts to bring humanitarian aid into the country descended into bloody chaos.
Self-declared interim president Juan Guaido called on the international community to consider “all measures to free” Venezuela after clashes at the border crossing left at least two people dead.
Guaido announced he would participate in Monday’s Lima Group meeting of mostly Latin American countries in Bogota, and called on the international community to be prepared for “all possibilities” regarding Maduro. US Vice President Mike Pence will represent Washington at the meeting.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States “will take action” as he condemned violence perpetrated by Maduro’s “thugs.” President Donald Trump has said that Washington is not ruling out armed action.
Humanitarian aid, much of it from the United States, has become the centerpiece of the standoff between Maduro and Guaido, the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly who declared himself interim president one month ago.
Meanwhile, in a staggering lack of self-awareness, the daffy old Socialist and Presidential candidate from Vermont tweeted the following:
The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis. The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 23, 2019
Venezuela is, of course, the inevitable end-stage of every policy Sanders has championed in his entire non-productive life, beginning with his failed carpentry gigs, continuing with his honeymoon in the Soviet Union and culminating with his championing of Soviet policies in the U.S. Senate.
But back to Venezuela; I’m guessing that there are maybe, oh, 70-30 odds that Maduro and his inner circle end up hanging from lampposts. That is, of course, unless he manages to flee to someplace like Cuba with the billions in Venezuela’s sovereign wealth he has no doubt squirreled away someplace. But unless he takes bullion – and that’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility – the international banking system will catch up with him sooner or later. The key to Maduro’s downfall, though, will be the military, and there are already signs that the rank-and-file soldiery along with a few senior officers are starting to defect.
Venezuela today serves to prove many things about socialism, but aside from all the economic examples, there’s one more think about socialism that has again been proven true: You can vote your way into socialism, but you’ll have to shoot your way out.