Is it time to get it over with in Venezuela?

Despite the barbarism seen in Venezuela these days — the latest the running down of protesters with armored military vehicles — President Trump's hard words for the brutal socialist dictatorship there have largely been seen in the context of winning the Florida vote, or blustering for the sake of it, or speaking loud and carrying a small stick based on the geopolitical realities of confronting Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Most important, Trump himself has been seen as reluctant to get the U.S. into any conflict abroad, based on the miserable series of nation-building wars on Stone-Age people.

Consequently, the conventional wisdom that Venezuela's acting president Juan Guaidó's inability to enact a military uprising has been dubbed a 'failure.'  Trump's not gonna act, so dictator Nicolás Maduro stays in place strong.

There are now signs that that may not be the case.  Here's longtime Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer's surprising take on what he's hearing.  He writes:

How likely is a U.S.-Brazil-Colombia military intervention in Venezuela? I still think that it's highly unlikely, but judging from what I'm told are secret talks between United States and Latin American officials to resurrect a dormant 1947 Inter-American mutual defense treaty, I'm no longer willing to bet that it won't happen. First, the Trump administration is escalating its rhetoric following the Venezuelan opposition's courageous but unsuccessful April 30 attempt to spark a military rebellion. Going beyond his earlier talking point that, "All options are on the table," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that "military action is possible." 

He adds that it's Latin diplomats who are telling him that talks about a collective military intervention effort are going on.  Hmmm, real interesting.  Perhaps there really will be a Panama-style pounding and then leaving the Venezuelan democrats in charge to take care of the matter.

The Venezuelans themselves — and its most notable dissidents — are certainly calling for it.  Maria Corina Machado, who's been opposing the dictatorship for at least 15 years, has pointed out on Twitter and in television interviews that Venezuela pretty much doesn't have many other options.  Venezuela's former United Nations ambassador and U.N. Security Council president, as well as senior statesman, Diego Arria has pointed out that the U.N. went into Bosnia to defend its locals from the Serbs in the 1990s for much less.

There seems to be a lot of support for the idea inside Venezuela and with Venezuelans pouring over Brazil's and Colombia's borders, the attitudes are changing in those quarters, too.

It's very significant to read this coming from him, because he's the Latin swamp thing, he knows what goes on in the thinking of the established elites around Latin America and in Latin American policy circles.  If he's hearing military talk, and he's balancing that against the establishment, there's general inertia and fear toward intervention in the affairs of other countries, there must be something going on.

If it comes off right, it certainly would argue for a bright future for Colombia and Brazil, not only in that they'll have a democratic neighbor instead of a bleeding ulcer of socialism on their border, but that their own troops are highly competent.  It would demonstrate the case for their joining on as full-blown NATO members, too, something President Trump has brought up earlier.  Meanwhile, as long as this looks to be a multi-nation effort, it would be nice to see the Dutch and Maltese involved, too, given the positive role both nations have played in checking the Maduro regime — the Netherlands by helping out with aid and the geography of its Curaçao island territory off the coast of Venezuela, and Malta by throwing a massive roadblock to Russia's designs in setting up military supply lines to Venezuela.

If this is what's going on, it shows that the matter is not over. It shows that Venezuelans have not failed, and that their refusal to stop fighting — two decades into what became a socialist dictatorship — is something that may ultimately lead to its liberation — by whatever means necessary.

Maduro can sleep with one eye open on this report.

Image credit: Sgt. Anthony J. Kirby, U.S. Marine Corps via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Despite the barbarism seen in Venezuela these days — the latest the running down of protesters with armored military vehicles — President Trump's hard words for the brutal socialist dictatorship there have largely been seen in the context of winning the Florida vote, or blustering for the sake of it, or speaking loud and carrying a small stick based on the geopolitical realities of confronting Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Most important, Trump himself has been seen as reluctant to get the U.S. into any conflict abroad, based on the miserable series of nation-building wars on Stone-Age people.

Consequently, the conventional wisdom that Venezuela's acting president Juan Guaidó's inability to enact a military uprising has been dubbed a 'failure.'  Trump's not gonna act, so dictator Nicolás Maduro stays in place strong.

There are now signs that that may not be the case.  Here's longtime Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer's surprising take on what he's hearing.  He writes:

How likely is a U.S.-Brazil-Colombia military intervention in Venezuela? I still think that it's highly unlikely, but judging from what I'm told are secret talks between United States and Latin American officials to resurrect a dormant 1947 Inter-American mutual defense treaty, I'm no longer willing to bet that it won't happen. First, the Trump administration is escalating its rhetoric following the Venezuelan opposition's courageous but unsuccessful April 30 attempt to spark a military rebellion. Going beyond his earlier talking point that, "All options are on the table," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that "military action is possible." 

He adds that it's Latin diplomats who are telling him that talks about a collective military intervention effort are going on.  Hmmm, real interesting.  Perhaps there really will be a Panama-style pounding and then leaving the Venezuelan democrats in charge to take care of the matter.

The Venezuelans themselves — and its most notable dissidents — are certainly calling for it.  Maria Corina Machado, who's been opposing the dictatorship for at least 15 years, has pointed out on Twitter and in television interviews that Venezuela pretty much doesn't have many other options.  Venezuela's former United Nations ambassador and U.N. Security Council president, as well as senior statesman, Diego Arria has pointed out that the U.N. went into Bosnia to defend its locals from the Serbs in the 1990s for much less.

There seems to be a lot of support for the idea inside Venezuela and with Venezuelans pouring over Brazil's and Colombia's borders, the attitudes are changing in those quarters, too.

It's very significant to read this coming from him, because he's the Latin swamp thing, he knows what goes on in the thinking of the established elites around Latin America and in Latin American policy circles.  If he's hearing military talk, and he's balancing that against the establishment, there's general inertia and fear toward intervention in the affairs of other countries, there must be something going on.

If it comes off right, it certainly would argue for a bright future for Colombia and Brazil, not only in that they'll have a democratic neighbor instead of a bleeding ulcer of socialism on their border, but that their own troops are highly competent.  It would demonstrate the case for their joining on as full-blown NATO members, too, something President Trump has brought up earlier.  Meanwhile, as long as this looks to be a multi-nation effort, it would be nice to see the Dutch and Maltese involved, too, given the positive role both nations have played in checking the Maduro regime — the Netherlands by helping out with aid and the geography of its Curaçao island territory off the coast of Venezuela, and Malta by throwing a massive roadblock to Russia's designs in setting up military supply lines to Venezuela.

If this is what's going on, it shows that the matter is not over. It shows that Venezuelans have not failed, and that their refusal to stop fighting — two decades into what became a socialist dictatorship — is something that may ultimately lead to its liberation — by whatever means necessary.

Maduro can sleep with one eye open on this report.

Image credit: Sgt. Anthony J. Kirby, U.S. Marine Corps via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.