Invade Venezuela and get it over with, top Harvard academic says

Ricardo Hausmann is no typical academic. This past week, he suggested in an article that a foreign invasion may be the only way out for Venezuela's collapsing socialist regime. The respected Venezuelan economist who is a professor at Harvard's Kennedy school is known for going out on a limb and making the powers that be uncomfortable. He's done it a lot and it's because he loves his country.

He was one of the first to call fraud on Venezuela's recall referendum of 2004 and blast Jimmy Carter, who claimed all was free and fair. With Venezuela soon starving, he shocked the world ten years later by calling on Venezuela to default on its debts and use the cash to feed its people. He warned a second time that banks that issue new debt for Venezuela as a lifeline to the regime were propping up the regime's capacity to create more starvation.

Now he's calling for the most obvious of solution of all to the monstrous problem of totalitarian socialism, which is failing and cannot reform itself, and whose suffering people are powerless to cast them out: Invade the hellhole.

According to a column by the Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer:

In his Jan. 2 syndicated article, “D-Day Venezuela,” Hausmann proposes that Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly impeach dictator Nicolás Maduro and appoint a new constitutional government, which in turn could request military assistance from other countries.

Hausmann calls on a coalition of the willing to act at the invitation of Venezuela's opposition, which had had the majority in the National Assembly until Nicolas Maduro's dictatorship effectively superceded their powers with some 'constitutional' parliament of his own invention and liking. For good measure, he banned all the top opposition leaders from running for office as well.

Sure, invasion is a dirty word in Latin America. But attitudes are changing, Hausmann argues. All of the countries of the region are getting the creeps, not to mention the human waves of refugees - real refugees, by the way, the kind who will go anywhere. What's more, as Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer argues, Venezuela already has been invaded by a foreign power, Cuba, which runs everything in that country.

Hausmann even argues that his idea is hardly radical or unprecedented - there are many historic precedents. From Oppenheimer:

Venezuela’s independence hero, Simón Bolívar, himself gained the title of Liberator of Venezuela thanks to an 1814 invasion organized and financed by neighboring Nueva Granada (today’s Colombia), Hausmann argues. And France, Belgium and the Netherlands liberated themselves from oppressive regimes thanks to international military actions in World War II, he adds.

And since Oppenheimer is an Argentine-born moderate lefty, and Hausmann's views are unknown, we'll never hear the Big One of precedents for a change in power after an incumbent regime abuses its power totally: Pinochet's Chile.
But that's the precedent that's really useful.
Chile's military government of the 1970s was created as a result of a completely parliamentary maneuver, buttressed by its supreme court. It was never a freelance coup d'etat as the Castroite-propaganda-influenced left would have you think. Unlike what Hausmann is calling for, it was a fully domestic operation, involving no foreigners, done so because Chile's military had not been corrupted as Venezuela's military is now. The bottom line is that it was absolutely legal based on Chile's constitution.
Like everything Hausmann proposes, the idea of sweeping out the socialist garbage in Caracas makes sense. Hausmann is pointing out that these are not ordinary times - Venezuelans are actually starving. The very survival of the nation is at stake and the current totalitarian regime is completely unreformable, just as the great Jeanne Kirkpatrick noted in her famous essay, 'Dictatorships and Double Standards.' Oppenheimer thinks a foreign invasion is unlikely to happen, but he's Mr. Swamp on Latin affairs and as such is frequently surprised. If nothing else, it's important that this idea is now out there. Watch the Chavistas scream.
As Americans, we are moved by the suffering of socialism's victims in that country and don't care which nation does this, just that the regime gets gone. If the Venezuelans want to do this with Colombia, Brazil and Peru helping out, rather than us, President Trump should send the word that the rest of us will be pleased and, in the immortal words of April Glaspie, the U.S. has "no objection."




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