Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro must be soiling himself about now
Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, who already has a legal president waiting in the wings to take the reins, now has a mountain of U.S. pressure to get out while the getting's good. He's not much for Twitter, but in the last few hours, he's been going like gangbusters, or, well, in his case, gangs, trying to rally the left to his regime and get his "narrative" for them out. Look at this amazingly long string of recent tweets.
The big thing making him scream publicly is news of the crushing round of sanctions employed by President Trump and his dream team of Latin American advisers, declaring anyone out there collaborating with the Venezuelan oil company now subject to sanctions, same as Venezuela's ruling drug-dealers. The sanctions also focus on Citgo ownership, handing recognized power to Venezuela's legitimate president, Juan Guaidó. That targets the money stream, and Maduro doesn't have much money left anyway. All of these moves, coupled with defection after defection, and now the news U.S. incentives to the Venezuelan troops involved in running Venezuela's oil company to defect (which seems to be a keystone of Operation Boot Maduro), are poison to the dictator. Not surprisingly, Maduro is out yelling:
Presidente de Venezuela @NicolasMaduro, denunció que el gobierno de @realDonaldTrump "decide transitar por el camino ilegal para robar la empresa Citgo a Venezuela" tras las sanciones de #EEUU a @PDVSA pic.twitter.com/ulkH0fIDlw— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) January 29, 2019
La oposición debe ignorar los llamados imperiales que apuntan hacia la confrontación entre hermanos. Llamo a la sensatez y a la responsabilidad. Reitero mi compromiso con un Gran Diálogo Nacional como única vía de coexistencia y convivencia. ¡Que prevalezca la Paz! pic.twitter.com/gHAWdBlt7w— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 29, 2019
Quick Microsoft Translate:
The opposition must ignore the so-called Imperials that point to the confrontation between brothers. I call sense and responsibility. I reiterate my commitment to a great national dialogue as the only way of coexistence and coexistence. Let Peace prevail!
Creo en la palabra, en la política, en el ser humano, en la diplomacia como la única forma de alcanzar el entendimiento. He estado y estaré dispuesto a dialogar en el marco del respeto para proteger la paz. https://t.co/2VolbqjzOV pic.twitter.com/JuqPnGIGoL— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 29, 2019
I believe in the word, in politics, in the human being, in diplomacy as the only way to reach understanding. I have been and will be willing to dialogue within the framework of respect to protect peace. https://goo.gl/GLpYKn
He's tweeting and tweeting like this, every few minutes, definitely on his back foot, and apparently desperate.
It's come in response to a few short, brutal tweets from President Trump's top officials:
Today the U.S. determined that persons operating in #Venezuela’s oil sector may now be subject to sanctions. @PDVSA has been designated for sanction. These actions prevent the #Maduro regime from further plundering Venezuela’s assets and natural resources. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/oPdLLs19LI— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 28, 2019
The United States will not let Maduro and his cronies continue to loot the assets of the Venezuelan people. https://t.co/V1o7Bdr2cL— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) January 28, 2019
(I love the short dismissiveness of Bolton's tweet.)
Bottom line: The heat is on.
And it's not as if mere boiling heat from the U.S. is Maduro's only problem. He's got a second group of things to worry about, probably even scarier than the first.
One, secretary of state Mike Pompeo recently named Elliott Abrams as his point man for the Venezuelan crisis – you know, that guy who was one of the architects of the Manuel Noriega dictator extraction operation in Panama back in 1990? That guy. He doesn't like communists.
Two, there was that funny little de facto leak yesterday, from the yellow pad of national security adviser John Bolton: 5,000 troops to Colombia.
Here's the Fox News report about it.
And CNN is reporting that he's not doing anything to tamp down "tensions" from it. Oh, boo-hoo. I have no idea if that leak was intentional or not, with the media somehow seeing the contents of Bolton's yellow pad and reporting it. It might actually have been intentional, which is either psychological warfare or else the real thing.
Elliott Abrams, 5,000 troops?
Maduro's got plenty of reason to be paranoid right about now, which is a big change from all his phony yells about threats in the past.
No wonder he's going bonkers with the tweets. He must be soiling himself.
Image credit: Fox News screen shot.