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Thursday, February 7, 2019


Raul Castro, Vladimir Putin & Nicolas Maduro
With all the noise about Venezuela, one might be forgiven for thinking that Maduro is near the end and democracy will soon prevail. I have my doubts. Some semblance of democracy did return to Eastern Europe after decades of Soviet control, but it wasn't a civil war that brought their freedom. The Soviet Union simply ran out of money to pay their goons. We can hope  Maduro's government will also soon run out of money, but since Russia is supporting him, that might not happen.

I can understand Russia's interest in Venezuela: they have huge reserves of oil, as big or bigger than Saudi Arabia. Plus Maduro's government is of a similar, pseudo-communist, bent, so they are somewhat simpatico. Since the economic situation there has gotten very bad, and the West has universally condemned Maduro, Russia is his only friend. Let's not forget that the Western running-dog imperialists (to use an old, communist phrase) persist in sticking their fingers in Ukraine, so I can see why Putin would enjoy messing about in Venezuela. Tit-for-tat, so to speak.

But the problem isn't just Maduro. He isn't going to be able to maintain his position without support, specifically from the military. The Atlantic has a story by Moisés Naím from two years ago that paints a more complete picture of the situation. It's ugly.

Removing Maduro from power could be done peacefully if we could somehow cut off his support from Russia. I don't see how we can do that. We might be able to do some horse-trading, stop mucking about in Eastern Europe so much, especially the Ukraine, but I doubt that will happen. The political support for Eastern Europe is much stronger in the West than it is for Venezuela, which is mostly a jungle filled with wild-eyed revolutionaries, as we all know.

Don Henley - All She Wants To Do Is Dance (1985)

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