The Chinese have accomplished a lot. They stole all of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from her illegal server in real-time. They planted a spy next to Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein for decades. Some Chinese citizens sued Terry McAuliffe and Hillary’s brother Tony for fraud. And since Mr. Trump got elected, they’ve started to come around on that whole trade-deficit thing. They also loaned Venezuela 50 billion dollars, and they are not keen on their chances of getting it back soon, given that Mr. Trump just imposed “crushing sanctions.”
Related: Viva La Revolution Venezuela
Crushing Sanctions is the official term. It’s one of those pithy go-to descriptors like Mighty Oak, fast as lightning, or Only Nixon could go to China. That’s what these are, and when it comes to ‘crushing sanctions’, China isn’t the only same old Communist in a new Distress.
Why Sanctions and Why Now?
The Socialists took Venezuela and treated it like a rental car. The once great and prosperous nation could be the after picture in a scared straight poster to keep kids off Meth. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve run out of things with which to compare it. It’s corrupt, collapsing, and did we mention corrupt?
New President for Life™ Nicolas Maduro replaced the previous President for Life™ Hugo Chavez (deceased) and ran the last election as Hugo would. He cheated, but most of the world seems to think they saw the votes hidden up his sleeve.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido is the head of the countries National Assembly. He has declared himself interim President (after announcing that there is no president) and has promised new elections. A lot of Venezuelans like this idea.
The US (and most Western nations) also like this idea. But it needs a little backup. So, Mr. Trump has imposed “crushing sanctions” on Venezuela to drive sitting Dictator in Chief, Nicolas Maduro, out. If the military can be convinced to abandon their fearless leader, the nation can have whatever passes for a cleaner election and try to repair the damage. Or not.
China, for its part, mostly wants its money back and Venezuela’s oil. To that end, they have suggested that America’s sanctions will create a humanitarian crisis. This is China, an (as yet) unrecognized global leader (cough-cough) in protecting human rights and promoting humanitarian interests.
“The relevant country’s sanctions on Venezuela will lead to the deterioration of conditions of people’s lives,” Geng told a regular news briefing in Beijing, referring to the United States.
“They should bear responsibility for the serious consequences from this,” he said.
I’m not convinced Trump won’t add a Venezuela card to his trade dealings with the Chinese. But if it makes the Chinese feel better, part of the sanctions arrangement includes humanitarian relief.
Russia Russia Russia
Which brings us to Russia. They have a long term relationship with Venezuela, which owes them at least 10 billion assuming the country already paid for 11 billion in arms purchases. Russia has also sent bombers to the South American nation (the sort that can drop nukes) and insists the American sanctions are illegal.
Russia’s problem here is that Maduro is their guy. Western interests and allies back juan Guaido. If Maduro caves and there are elections, there is no guarantee the replacement will play along. The odds are good they won’t. The People of Venezuela are not too keen on the old guard, so I doubt they can be happy with the Russian ‘consultants’ or their weapons sales to oppressive past Presidents for Life™.
Of course, as long as the military clings to their guns and Maduro, no one should expect to see any change, believe in it or not.
But with a large chunk of the free world siding with Guaido and sanctions to oust Maduro, this might be the first chance in decades to free these people from the horrifying grip of socialism.
Image Credit: The Daily Signal