Rubio warns Venezuela's Maduro he'd be a fool to underestimate Trump

As Venezuela surges into chaos, with even some of the military in open rebellion and a major protest planned for today, the U.S. hasn't been idle.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, and above all, Sen. Marco Rubio are taking maximum steps to help Venezuelans get rid of its detested socialist regime.

The best stuff is coming from Rubio, who's put out an amazingly splendid series of fighting tweets toward the brutal, embattled dictatorship, which is the only way to get their attention.

As Venezuela surges into chaos, with even some of the military in open rebellion and a major protest planned for today, the U.S. hasn't been idle.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, and above all, Sen. Marco Rubio are taking maximum steps to help Venezuelans get rid of its detested socialist regime.

The best stuff is coming from Rubio, who's put out an amazingly splendid series of fighting tweets toward the brutal, embattled dictatorship, which is the only way to get their attention.

Hear that?  Bad stuff is coming.  Do not underestimate Trump, who likes surprises and likes to go big.

What we are seeing here is psychological warfare at its finest, with Rubio warning Maduro he'd be better off getting out of the country than hanging on, given what's coming for him.  It's especially satisfying to hear him – a former political opponent of President Trump who knows firsthand how Trump fights – warning the dictator that he's likely to get it good if he doesn't.

It's clearly not a case of Rubio going off the rails.  Rubio, in fact, is a top Republican on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and definitely the point man for Latin-communist issues, whether of Cuba, Nicaragua, or Venezuela, the three hellholes of the hemisphere.  He warned that he had a meeting last night with Trump, and maybe Maduro ought to let that sink in.

Obviously, Rubio's acting in a tag team with Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence, who's got a direct video address to the Venezuelans out today on Twitter, encouraging them to keep at it, keep fighting to dislodge the illegitimate regime.  As the number of Venezuelan "likes" and praise-tweets suggest, it's getting heard.

Pence also has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning, just in case Maduro doesn't know how to operate his Twitter, and, for the benefit of the U.S. citizens watching, describing just how bad it all is, along with why we Americans should care:

Nine out of 10 citizens live in poverty.  Millions lack access to drinking water and food, and the average Venezuelan reports losing significant weight in recent years, with the poorest dropping more than 20 pounds.  Three out of four hospitals are abandoned, causing infectious diseases that were once eradicated in our hemisphere to re-emerge and spread.

In Colombia in 2017, my wife and I met a woman who had fled Venezuela with her four grandchildren.  She told us that in their old town, the children had to wake up at 4 a.m. every day to get a ticket, then stand in line to redeem it for a piece of bread in the afternoon.  Like that family, more than three million Venezuelans have now abandoned their homeland – the hemisphere's largest cross-border mass exodus ever – with another two million expected to follow in 2019.

This is a humanitarian crisis and also a matter of regional security.  Vulnerable families often fall prey to human traffickers and criminal organizations. Venezuela's growing black market has attracted criminal syndicates from across the world to launder money and export drugs, weapons and terrorism across the region. In these respects Venezuela is a failed state, and failed states know no borders.

For the sake of our vital interests, and for the sake of the Venezuelan people, the U.S. will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.

You can bet Maduro will read that one, too.  Pence is a big fish, and his polite words of warning to the thugs in Caracas will carry weight.  But I think the Rubio warnings, couched in language the Caracas thugs can understand, will do even more.

It's all part of a major U.S. international effort to support the Venezuelans as they try to free themselves from their socialist nightmare.  It's part of a plan.  Operation Boot Maduro is really underway now, and it's worth it to keep watching. 

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.