Defections, asset seizures, ultimatums: In Venezuela, the wheels are turning and the news is getting good
The past couple days have been seemingly gloomy for the prospects of Venezuelans restoring their democracy, given the military's reluctance to break ranks and recognize the valid president of the country, Juan Guaido, along with the hard opposition from overseas players such as Russia, defending their Venezuelan rice bowls. All of those millions of people, peacefully marching for the right to live in a free, non-socialist country, and they seem to have been stopped in their heels by ... Russia, whose role up until now had been seen as tangential. That's worth a far closer look: the fact that Russia dispatched some hardened Cossacks to personally guard the country's dictator, Nicolas Maduro, suggests a lot more going on moneywise than previously thought.
But the clouds seem to be clearing now, and the outlook is getting brighter. In just the last day, a lot of good news has rolled out. From Reuters, a military defection, which is exactly what is wanted to enact change:
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's top military envoy to the United States defected from the government of President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, as the South American nation said the two countries had scaled back their diplomatic missions to skeleton staff.
It's not only good in itself - it may trigger a chain reaction. These things can happen very fast. That guy knows what the deal is and what's coming down the pike and he's decided he's better off with Guaido.
Here's another one from CNN, citing Bloomberg:
London (CNN)The Bank of England has blocked Nicolas Maduro's officials from withdrawing $1.2 billion worth of gold, Bloomberg reported, dealing a further blow to the embattled Venezuelan President as he tries to salvage his authority.According to the report, which cites unnamed people familiar with the matter, the gold is a significant part of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank.CNN has not been able to independently verify the report and is attempting to get a response from Maduro's officials.
It had to have been an important withdrawal, given that Maduro was going for the reserves, which is kind of like a nation's savings account. The U.K. blocked the thugs from draining those coffers, signalling that Europe is onboard for the sanctions squeeze - keeping Maduro away from Venezuela's money in the hopes he will decide it's better to leave.
Europe, in fact, has been very helpful, here's the other news item from the region - an ultimatum:
European leaders announced Saturday that if Venezuela does not hold new elections, they will recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as the country's legitimate president.
Just the idea of a helpful Europe is a good change in itself, because it does have a long and disgusting history of supporting communists and socialists in the region - from the liberation-theology money out of Germany to corrupt the region's clerics to the International Red Cross succoring FARC terrorists and hiring their relatives, to the Hague constantly harassing Colombia for trying to get rid of those same Marxist narcoterrorists and Netherlands shipping a few starry eyed guerrilla gals - the region is, after all the home of radical chic. So this represents a break from the usual intransigence, and is wonderful in itself because it's bad news for the dictatorship. When a third-world socialist dictatorship has lost Western Europe...
Here's another one - Venezuela has blinked on the potential U.S. embassy showdown:
Easy instant analysis: That is weakness. Guess the prospect of tangling with old Elliott Abrams, who's been around the block a few times with these Latin tyrants, was something they didn't want to get involved with.
Here's yet another bit of good news from another front, off Twitter:
#Venezuela Today in all the municipalities all over Venezuela citizens honor those murdered by the regime of tyrant Maduro this week , remembering that their call was always for peaceful protests #VzlaEnAsamblea #MaduroAsesino— Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) January 27, 2019
The Venezuelans are not letting up. They are hanging on, they are staying in the streets, and their peaceful protests are still covering the country. That signals commitment, and the people's deep desire for restoring their once-vibrant democracy. They are putting it on the line, against thugs, goons, torture and dictatorship and not letting them get away with it. That's national greatness - and a sign they are worthy of the change they call for.
Every crack in the military is good news. Every bid to separate Maduro from Venezuela's money is good news. Every diplomatic united front to dislodge the dictatorship is good news. And with people hanging on in hope, the stage is set for great news. There is reason for optimism that the odious socialist dictatorship is not going to maintain its grip.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot