Landmark Election Will Reach Across the Region
Can We Learn Something From Venezuela?
We have to admit, our focus has been on the middle east and Asia with events happening in Syria and North Korea. We are weary of all the claims and counter claims surrounding Russia’s involvement in USA elections.
Meanwhile, in our own backyard, historical and monumental events are happening in a neighboring country, Venezuela. For me, currently spending time in Colombia, who shares a border with Venezuela, the events are very close to home and directly impacting me.
This Sunday, a landmark election will take place that may determine the fate of not only Venezuela, but will have far reaching consequences on the region and the Western Hemisphere. This Sunday, there will be a vote by the Venezuelan people on who will comprise the new assembly that has been proposed by the dictatorial leader, Nicolas Maduro.
The people will not have a choice between opposition and pro government candidates, but can only elect among the hand picked candidates by Maduro. Whoever gets elected, will be a supporter of Maduro and will have far reaching powers, even exceeding that of Maduro himself.
The Trump administration is weighing in on it with threats of severe economic sanctions against Venezuela if the election goes through and new dictatorial powers are granted to the Maduro regime. It has been said that as much as 98% of the population is opposed to this vote and those who show up to vote, will be the supporters of Maduro.
For me, the lesson of Venezuela to all nations is one of the dangers of dependency on big, central government. The communist/socialist government, under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, created a huge empire out of the petro dollars earned by Venezuela’s vast oil reserves. Hugo Chavez built houses for people and spent extravagantly on social programs. Like all big governments, millions of people received government benefits and jobs, becoming totally dependent on the centralized government.
When oil prices fell, so did the revenues to support such a monster and instead of having a diverse economy not dependent on oil, they didn’t have enough money to support all the takers from the government. Food and medicine became scarce. Yet, because of the huge dependency on government, many people continue to support Maduro and his government, because they are afraid of losing benefits under a more conservative administration.
And, like any good dictator, Maduro has rewarded his military generals well, buying their loyalty to fight against the opposition, diverting whatever money he can into their pockets. This is a recipe for disaster, with a lot of bloodshed and destruction of lives as the crisis comes to a head.
Here in Colombia, I have met many Venezuelan refugees. They give first hand accounts of the horrors in Venezuela. They eat dogs and pigeons to kill their hunger pangs. They haven’t seen toilet paper or shampoo for a long time.
However, Colombia is not welcoming these refugees, given its own struggles with poverty and the need for jobs. Not only do they not want to compete with Venezuelans for jobs, they are learning that the Venezuelans are bringing with them a culture of stealing and crime, learned from the survival culture in Venezuela.
So, why should the powerful USA even worry about what is happening in little, impoverished Venezuela?
- If Maduro and his supporters can solidify their power and gain an unchallengeable strangle hold on the country, then they can extend their influence in the region, including other socialist countries like Bolivia and Ecuador.
- With the temptation offered by their oil reserves, countries like China, North Korea and even Russia can form alliances, giving them not only access to the region’s natural resources, but a strategic military advantage against the USA.
- There could be a refugee crisis as more Venezuelans flee the sinking Venezuela economy, which faces continued hardships.
But as I noted earlier, Venezuela can give us a lesson on what happens when big, centralized government gets control over a people and a country.
Have you wondered why the federal BLM, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Marshals Service, the federal prosecutors, the federal prisons, the federal judge Navarro and the federal Senator Harry Reid, have all so viciously attacked the Bundys and their supporters? Why have they spared no cost, no amount of energy to win at all costs the battle with the protesters as opposed to other groups like Black Lives Matter, Anafata, and anti Trump groups?
The common thread that unites these entities against the Bundys et al is being a member of an exclusive team, the federal government. Constitutional originalists, like the Bundys, question the constitutional pedigree of the FBI, the BLM, the EPA and most of the federal alphabet soup agencies. If the Bundy and Finicum message that was going to be delivered in John Day on January 26, 2016 were to get traction or “become a virus”, then it would threaten the federal empire and their interests.
In a recent speech in Washington D.C., Jeanette Finicum quoted her husband LaVoy, “The purpose of government is to secure the rights of the people, not secure more government.”
It is not far fetched to think something like Venezuela could happen in the USA. Like Venezuela, the dependency on big government, federal bureaucracies, federal benefits, federal contracts and federal employment is related to what is happening in Nevada as the federal team or federal club is fighting an all out war against anybody who would threaten their federal interests.
Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, understood that the key to greater power and control over the people, is a dependency by the people on big, centralized government and that the millions who depend on that big government for employment and benefits, will do anything to preserve it.
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