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Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's Happening in Caracas?

There are continuous protests in Venezuela especially in the capital of Caracas.  Security forces have confronted civilian protesters who have been marching in the streets.  President Maduro refuses to step down.  Instead, he has assumed dictatorial powers and taken away all the power of the national assembly.  Protests are broken up with violence.  So far, about thirty Venezuelans have been killed by the security forces at these demonstrations. A great many more have been injured.

The situation is rapidly getting totally out of control.  The Organization of American States decided to investigate events in Venezuela, so the Maduro government announce that the country had withdrawn from the OAS.  Hundreds of thousands of people are starving and the economy is in total collapse.  Things get worse each day.

Even worse, the situation is starting to look like the beginnings of the Syrian civil war.  There is a despot who is the subject of protests.  He is using the security forces to attack the protesters.  The next step may well be violence on a much more massive scale.  Indeed, the question right now is whether or not the Venezuelan military would stand for or participate in the government attacking the people marching in the street.  Hopefully, the Venezuelan military will step in and overthrow Maduro should such an order be issued.  Of course, the military might just obey the president and that would lead to civil war.  When the Syrian civil war began, president Obama ignored it.  He sat by and did and said nothing as more and more people were killed.  Hundreds of thousands have died and millions are homeless.  Had Obama acted early in the conflict, it could have been ended with minimal cost.  Normally, Venezuela is not the direct concern of the USA.  Having Venezuela disintegrate into warring groups and continuing civil war, however, would be very detrimental to the USA.  President Trump needs to ignore the Obama example of doing nothing and to try leadership by the USA instead.  That does not mean military action, but it does mean actively seeking a solution.

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