Friday, February 22, 2019

Saturday's Showdown in Venezuela and Donald Trump

By Robert Wenzel

I recently pointed out in the EPJ Daily Alert what President Trump's global military strategy seems to be. Pull troops out of areas where there is little or no oil and threaten to send troops to countries where there is oil (See: Trump and his comments on Iran and Venezuela).

It is noteworthy that there is a fascinating new report in former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's new book,The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, about Trump and Venezuela.

You have to be careful of McCabe because he is a Deep State operative who wants to discredit Trump but this report in his book rings true. 

According to McCabe in a July 2017 private briefing with intelligence officials, Trump asked why the US wasn’t at war with Venezuela, noting that “they have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.”

According to McCabe’s telling, the president reportedly derailed the meeting, which was supposed to be about Russian spies, by making unrelated comments about North Korea and other countries--and Venezuela.

McCabe expanded on this during a Tuesday night interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “The president’s remarks to the room were along the lines of ‘I don’t understand why we’re not looking at Venezuela. Why are we not at war with Venezuela?’

So Trump will likely be watching with keen interest developments along the border of Venezuela and Colombia this weekend.

Axios sets the scene:
There’s a powder keg on the border of Venezuela and Colombia. In some 36 hours, the Venezuelan opposition, led by National Assembly President Juan Guaidó and forcefully backed by the U.S., plans to light the fuse.

What to watch: A caravan organized by the opposition set off today for the border, where food and medicine flown in by the U.S. have been stockpiled. Guaidó is vowing to bring the aid into Venezuela on Saturday. President Nicolás Maduro, who insists there is no humanitarian crisis, says he won’t let them...
The U.S. has gone all-in on regime change in Venezuela and wants results — fast. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Colombia on Monday to give a speech and meet with Lima Group leaders to "define concrete steps that support … a transition to democracy,” the White House says... 
“The most probable scenario is that in the next three to four months, Venezuela’s access to hard cash is going to be almost all gone," [Moisés Naím, a foreign policy heavyweight and former Venezuelan minister of trade and industry] says. "The government will not have the dollars to operate. That will create a new and hard to predict scenario."

My crystal ball isn't clear enough to see how all this plays out but the idea of chaos and a potential civil war in Venezuela can't be too upsetting to Trump's big time domestic oil producer buddies.

Indeed, confrontation this weekend  at the Venezuela and Colombia border may provide Trump with the excuse to go even more anti-George Washington in terms of foreign policy and once again ask, this time to a room full of neocons,  "Why are we not at war with Venezuela?"

We should all fear a likely neocon response to this question.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.

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