The U.S. imports over five times as much oil from Venezuela as from Kuwait. Been to the pumps lately? Wonder what’s going on? Venezuela is in turmoil, that’s what.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets. Hundreds have been tear-gassed, beaten and arrested by Cuban-trained police and at least a dozen shot dead by Cuban-trained paramilitary storm-troopers.
In brief Venezuelans have had it with the corruption, repression, shortages, censorship, 56 percent inflation rate, crime and general privations brought on by the late Hugo Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution,” especially as implemented by Chávez’s successor Nicolás Maduro, who won last October’s elections — most non-Hollywood observers believe — by stealing them.
Now Maduro and his cronies are stealing the country blind. It’s all under the guise of something the Chavistas call “21st Century socialism,” stealing businesses and replacing the owners and managers with vengeful, bumbling and rapacious government hacks. So the results exactly mimic those of old-fogey 20th Century socialism. Here’s a nation sitting atop the world’s largest oil reserves and earning $100 billion in oil revenues annually — while its citizens can’t find toilet paper in any stores.
But no matter how hard daily life becomes for Venezuelans, no matter how menacingly looms the prospect of national bankruptcy, no matter how drastically oil production drops — President Maduro keeps shipping 100,000 barrels of oil to Castro’s Cuba daily. Venezuelan subsidies to Cuba last year were estimated to total $10 billion. That’s more than double what the Soviets used to send.
So, as you might imagine, the Castro regime’s interest in the Maduro regime’s survial is pretty keen. To keep U.S. oil-supplier Kuwait out of the hands of a neighboring terror-sponsoring regime back in 1990, the U.S. employed some pretty serious firepower, if I recall.
“Blood for Oil!” shrieked protestors worldwide.
“Well?” Many responded. “So what?” Rush Limbaugh was among the few to man-up, shuck the script, and blurt the truth. Operation Desert Strom was simply about securing: “the free flow of oil at market prices.”
Indeed, if a nation decides to spill the blood of its servicemen, let’s hope it’s for a vital national interest. And what could be more vital than securing the flow through its very jugular?
As a response to Cuba’s takeover of Venezuela, the massive protests this blatant colonialism has sparked throughout that hapless nation, and the absurd accusations against the U.S., Secretary of State John Kerry recently responded thusly: “This is not how democracies behave. I call on the Venezuelan government to step back from its efforts to stifle dissent through force and respect basic human rights. The solution to Venezuela's problems can only be found through dialogue with all Venezuelans, engaging in a free exchange of opinions in a climate of mutual respect.”
Maduro and his colonial master Castro are surely quaking.
An estimated 50,000 Cubans infest Venezuela. The media (especially those networks and agencies bestowed Havana bureaus) all claim these Cubans are all “doctors and teachers.” Actual Venezuelans know better. In fact the Venezuelan secret police is essentially controlled by KGB-trained Cubans. President Maduro’s very platoon of bodyguards is headed by Cubans.
The hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans (mostly college students) taking to Venezuela’s streets are demanding, essentially, that the Venezuelan government abide by the Venezuelan constitution and end their pathetic subservience to the Castros.
“Cubans go Home!” chant many Venezuelan protestors. Another dig came from the leader of the Venezuelan opposition party behind most of the protests, Leopoldo López, shortly before his arrest. “Come on, Maduro,” tweeted the 42 year old Harvard-educated firebrand. “ You don’t have the guts to arrest me. Or are you waiting your orders from Havana?”
The orders came shortly after his tweet. As we go to press Leopoldo López remains under arrest.
The Venezuelan regime rants and raves about “Yankee Imperialism!” But the Venezuelan people fully recognize their genuine imperial masters. Most Venezuelans blame the Maduro government’s dirty work, including the dozen dead demonstrators, on paramilitary storm-troopers called “colectivos” (collectives.) “Chávez called them (the colectivos) the armed wing of his Revolution,” revealed Anthony Daquíne ex-security assesor of Venezuela's Interior Ministry. “In essence they are paramilitary groups. The leaders of the collectives have traveled to Cuba for socialist education and military training.”
Hugo Chávez’s inspirational debt to Ernesto “Che” Guevara is such that he titled his regime's socio-economic model, “Mision Che Guevara.” So unsurprisingly, many of these Cuban-trained storm-troopers regard Che Guevara with great affection, even as their inspiration.
“Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates! Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service! The very spirit of rebellion is reprehensible!” raved Che Guevara in a famous speech in 1961.
“My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands” raved Ernesto Guevara in a book later known as The Motorcycle Diaries. The Spanish world vencido, by the way, translates into defeated, hence surrendered, hence defenseless.
So, indeed, what could be more fitting than murdering unarmed youngsters on orders from Cuba while worshiping Che Guevara?
Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including “Fidel; Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant” and “Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him.”