With all eyes on Trump bedeviled by China virus crisis, Nicolas Maduro was in for a surprise

Like a rat who thought the big orange cat was preoccupied, Nicolás Maduro soon learned the hard the way that the cat was ready to spring.

According to BuzzFeed:

The Trump administration on Thursday charged Nicolás Maduro and 14 other high-ranking Venezuelan officials with narcoterrorism, drug trafficking, corruption, and other crimes, accusing them of using cocaine as a "weapon" to "flood the US."

Two federal indictments unsealed Thursday allege that Maduro and former and current officials in his regime partnered with dissidents of FARC — a violent rebel group in Colombia — for 20 years to engage in drug trafficking, causing "tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities."

The Department of Justice alleged that Maduro and other officials "expressly intended to flood the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and wellbeing of our nation."

"Maduro very deliberately deployed cocaine as a weapon," US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Thursday. "As alleged, the defendants betrayed the Venezuelan people and corrupted Venezuelan institutions to line their pockets with drug money."

Other than that doozie about "dissidents of FARC" to describe the world's most brutal narcoterrorists who tried for 55 years to overthrow the Colombian government, the BuzzFeed report conveys the sleaze and slime of the Maduro regime, which is basically just about drug-dealing these days.  Whatever was left of the Venezuelan state in the wake of socialism is pretty well hollowed out.  The oil's ruined.  The talent has fled.  The crops are destroyed.  The property rights are gone.  There's no toilet paper.  It's just hell on earth, which in fact is the perfect playground for Maduro's buddies in FARC, same way the Taliban drug-dealers took over Afghanistan when that hellhole became a failed state, or those Kyat-chewing pirates called the shots in failed-state Somalia.  It happens every time. 

As for Nicolás Maduro, he's got a target on his back now — and, unlike the BuzzFeed reporter who can't even remember Colombia's famous 2008 FARC computer raid in Ecuador that first revealed the extent of the Venezuelan government's sponsorship of FARC (as well as lots of FARC-symp sucking up from U.S. congressmen, such as Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts) — Maduro remembers very well what happened to the late, unlamented Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in 1990.  He got to wear his uniform in his Florida hoosegow cell, where he spent the next several decades.  Maduro now knows that day is coming for him — at a time and place of President Trump's choosing.  Count on that rich drug-dealing clown to sleep with one eye open until it happens.

The move illustrates something important that's happening: that even as the heavy weight of office takes its toll on Trump as he focuses so extensively on the coronavirus crisis from China, and he appears to be down — he's actually using this time to rope-a-dope America's enemies into thinking he's too busy to pay any attention to them, too entangled with critical domestic matters — and then surprising them.

It coincides with the squeeze he's also put on Iran, throwing a heaping helping of new sanctions onto the barbie to sizzle for the mullahs.

The Washington Post also noticed this, with this item:

Over the past month, the Treasury has announced new sanctions designations related to Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.

"The administration's tactic of choice toward adversaries is all pressure, all the time," said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.

Message: These clowns are going to wish all goes swimmingly for America, given the consequences to them of America getting bogged down by the coronavirus.  Trump doesn't let them go.  And the coronavirus puts him in a bad mood, something that means fear and dread before the shock and awe. 

Couldn't happen to a nicer socialist.

Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of public domain images.

Like a rat who thought the big orange cat was preoccupied, Nicolás Maduro soon learned the hard the way that the cat was ready to spring.

According to BuzzFeed:

The Trump administration on Thursday charged Nicolás Maduro and 14 other high-ranking Venezuelan officials with narcoterrorism, drug trafficking, corruption, and other crimes, accusing them of using cocaine as a "weapon" to "flood the US."

Two federal indictments unsealed Thursday allege that Maduro and former and current officials in his regime partnered with dissidents of FARC — a violent rebel group in Colombia — for 20 years to engage in drug trafficking, causing "tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities."

The Department of Justice alleged that Maduro and other officials "expressly intended to flood the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and wellbeing of our nation."

"Maduro very deliberately deployed cocaine as a weapon," US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Thursday. "As alleged, the defendants betrayed the Venezuelan people and corrupted Venezuelan institutions to line their pockets with drug money."

Other than that doozie about "dissidents of FARC" to describe the world's most brutal narcoterrorists who tried for 55 years to overthrow the Colombian government, the BuzzFeed report conveys the sleaze and slime of the Maduro regime, which is basically just about drug-dealing these days.  Whatever was left of the Venezuelan state in the wake of socialism is pretty well hollowed out.  The oil's ruined.  The talent has fled.  The crops are destroyed.  The property rights are gone.  There's no toilet paper.  It's just hell on earth, which in fact is the perfect playground for Maduro's buddies in FARC, same way the Taliban drug-dealers took over Afghanistan when that hellhole became a failed state, or those Kyat-chewing pirates called the shots in failed-state Somalia.  It happens every time. 

As for Nicolás Maduro, he's got a target on his back now — and, unlike the BuzzFeed reporter who can't even remember Colombia's famous 2008 FARC computer raid in Ecuador that first revealed the extent of the Venezuelan government's sponsorship of FARC (as well as lots of FARC-symp sucking up from U.S. congressmen, such as Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts) — Maduro remembers very well what happened to the late, unlamented Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in 1990.  He got to wear his uniform in his Florida hoosegow cell, where he spent the next several decades.  Maduro now knows that day is coming for him — at a time and place of President Trump's choosing.  Count on that rich drug-dealing clown to sleep with one eye open until it happens.

The move illustrates something important that's happening: that even as the heavy weight of office takes its toll on Trump as he focuses so extensively on the coronavirus crisis from China, and he appears to be down — he's actually using this time to rope-a-dope America's enemies into thinking he's too busy to pay any attention to them, too entangled with critical domestic matters — and then surprising them.

It coincides with the squeeze he's also put on Iran, throwing a heaping helping of new sanctions onto the barbie to sizzle for the mullahs.

The Washington Post also noticed this, with this item:

Over the past month, the Treasury has announced new sanctions designations related to Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.

"The administration's tactic of choice toward adversaries is all pressure, all the time," said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.

Message: These clowns are going to wish all goes swimmingly for America, given the consequences to them of America getting bogged down by the coronavirus.  Trump doesn't let them go.  And the coronavirus puts him in a bad mood, something that means fear and dread before the shock and awe. 

Couldn't happen to a nicer socialist.

Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of public domain images.