As the result of Cuban political shrewdness and chavista ignorance and treachery Venezuela has become a Cuban colony since the early years of this century. Everybody in and outside Venezuela knows that there are thousands of Cubans in Venezuela, inserted in all facets of social, military and political life, that Hugo Chavez then and Nicolas Maduro now, traveled and travel incessantly to Havana to receive their marching orders. The enormous transfer of wealth from Venezuela to Cuba, of the order of $4-5 billion per year in petroleum and cash, is well documented. When the dead Chavez was in Havana, under Cuban medical and political control, cabinet meetings were held in Havana and decisions were made in violation of Venezuelan law.
Cuban tutelage of Venezuela is one of the most shameful events in Venezuelan history and Chavez, Maduro and their accomplices will have to answer for their treason to history (the dead) and to Justice (the survivors).
In the early years the Venezuelan opposition was adamant that this was a “Venezuelan problem, to be solved by Venezuelans”. Opposition leaders strongly opposed any form of external sanctions against the Venezuelan regime, in a display of what I always considered false patriotism. Opposition leaders, still active today, traveled to the U.S. to ask that individual sanctions not be imposed on violators of human rights and drug lords linked to the regime and to the Venezuelan military.
At least since 2015, see: http://www.eastwebside.com/gustavo-coronel-intervencion-inmediata-del-regimen-venezolano.html ; http://tururutururu.com/gustavo-coronel-la-fuerza-armada-venezolana-corrupta-y-mandando/ ; http://critica24.com/index.php/2016/01/02/asombroso-carta-abierta-al-secretario-general-de-la-oea-por-gustavo-coronel/ ; http://jaquemateweb.com/gustavo-coronel-por-que-el-regimen-de-nicolas-maduro-debe-ser-intervenido/, I have been asking for outside intervention in Venezuela because I am convinced that Venezuelan society lacks enough strength to clean the government and restore democracy without a decisive help from outside. Some sectors of the so-called opposition, such as the parties of Henri Falcon and Manuel Rosales are currently collaborating with the regime and have become part of the problem. In fact, they now control the Board of the National Assembly, the only legitimate political institution left in Venezuela.
My opinion has not made many inroads because outside intervention is one of the political “taboos” of Latin America, derived from the years of unilateral U.S. intervention in Latin America. This is no longer the case. The intervention of Venezuela has been done by Castro’s Cuba, with the complicity of Chavista traitors and some false members of the opposition.
I have always said that today’s blasphemy becomes, in time, accepted dogma. Respected Economist Ricardo Hausmann, now at Harvard, has written an article calling for military intervention in Venezuela, see: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/venezuela-catastrophe-military-intervention-by-ricardo-hausmann-2018-01. In this article Hausmann says: “Targeted sanctions, managed by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), are hurting many of the thugs ruling Venezuela. But, measured in the tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and millions of additional Venezuelan refugees that will occur until the sanctions yield their intended effect, these measures are too slow at best. At worst, they will never work. After all, such sanctions have not led to regime change in Russia, North Korea, or Iran. This leaves us with an international military intervention, a solution that scares most Latin American governments because of a history of aggressive actions against their sovereign interests, especially in Mexico and Central America. But these may be the wrong historical analogies”
I am glad to see that Hausmann, who carries much more weight in Venezuelan public opinion that I could, has come out in favor of strong and definitive external intervention in Venezuela.
I agree with the concept, of course. However, I find that Hausmann has left some intermediate steps out of the sequence. Individual sanctions should definitely be continued. But we still have to see stronger global economic sanctions against Maduro and we still have to see a global diplomatic rupture of the Latin American Group of 21, the U.S., Canada and the European Union with Maduro’s narco-regime. I have the impression that a combination of these measures would do the job.
It is not that I am against a regional military intervention. It is that I feel this would be a much more difficult step to be agreed by the actors involved. And, as Ricardo Hausmann says, time is of the essence.