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Venezuela: A Growing Threat to the United States
Keck Journal ^ | 11/2013 | Harry Arnold

Posted on 03/11/2014 11:20:17 AM PDT by mgist

Venezuela: A Growing Threat to the United States 11/06/20130

The election of Nicolás Maduro ensured that Venezuela would continue to embrace the Bolivarian brand of socialism championed by the late president Hugo Chávez. Maduro has indeed retained Chávez’s leftist policies such as manipulative price controls, which has subsequently led to a stalled economy ridden with inflation [1]. Venezuela, a geopolitically significant country with vast oil reserves, has emerged alongside Brazil as one of the driving forces in South America. At the same time, Venezuela’s growing alliances with Russia and Iran have exacerbated the already contentious relationship with the United States. As a result, the country continues to pose an increasingly detrimental threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy initiatives.

Maduro, Chávez’s favored successor, has already demonstrated a fierce opposition against American interests on the international stage. For example, just months after taking office, Maduro offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, boldly proclaiming at a July conference at the Kremlin, “Latin America is telling this young man you are being persecuted by the empire; come here.” [2] The death of Chávez granted the United States the unique opportunity to possibly make inroads and establish constructive ties with Venezuela. Maduro possessed the ability to take the country in an alternative direction of increased international cooperation and to stray away from the fiercely radical sentiments of the socialist regime. However, such a drastic shift in Venezuelan foreign policy seems practically impossible, especially as Maduro now asserts himself in the international arena. Following antagonistic comments from current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power regarding civil rights violations in Venezuela, Maduro abruptly ceased efforts to improve relations with the United States. [3] It is apparent that Maduro, while maybe not as fervently outspoken as his predecessor, is nevertheless inclined to unequivocally oppose U.S. interests abroad. Given the enormous popularity of Chávez, it is likely that he will seek to increasingly demonstrate his own socialist, anti-Western views in an effort to develop a loyal political following.

As the United States has embraced the reactionary foreign policy approach of the Obama administration, Russia has increasingly asserted itself on the world stage. The recent crisis in Syria, in which Obama embarrassingly retreated from his original position in favor of a Russian-led proposal, is a prime example. Perhaps Vladimir Putin recently taking away from Obama the number one spot on the 2013 Forbes World’s Most Powerful List is a symbolic transition. [4] Maybe the United States will no longer be viewed as the unequivocal mediator of international conflict, especially now that Russia has demonstrated an affinity for the role of peacemaker. Consequently, Venezuela’s existing strategic ties with Russia will only grow in significance as Putin increases his sphere of influence, an alarming reality for the United States.

In 2010 the Venezuelan legislature approved an agreement with Russia which provides the country with the logistical support to develop two nuclear reactors for the purpose of generating civilian power. [5] Obviously, such steps are the necessary precursors for ultimately developing a nuclear weapons program. For years Iran has deflected allegations of weapons development by similarly asserting that the country’s nuclear program is merely for civilian purposes. Obviously, Venezuela is still years away from developing a functional nuclear weapon. However, given that a nuclear Venezuela would be catastrophic to the balance of power throughout Latin America, the U.S. should be vigilant and proactive. Latin America is very much a developing part of the world, as various countries are still trying to emerge from the aftermath of the government-rebel conflicts of the late 20th century. As a result, a nuclear Venezuela could easily increase the possibility of other countries pursuing nuclear weapons, Brazil especially. Such a ripple effect would harm U.S. interests both economically and diplomatically, not to mention increasing the possibility of military action.

Russian influence in Venezuela extends well beyond nuclear ambitions, as the two countries are intertwined in both an economic and military sense. For example, Russia has sold Venezuela billions of dollars worth of military supplies, invested even more in their oil industry, and even participated in joint naval exercises off the Venezuelan coast. [6] The transition of power from Chávez to Maduro does not seem to have had any tangible effect on the relationship between the two countries. In fact, Maduro and Putin have both affirmed their support for a growing alliance between the two countries, as each is able to realize the mutually beneficial nature of the relationship. [7]

Iran, classified by the U.S. as the world’s chief state-sponsor of worldwide terrorism, perhaps has an even more concerning connection to Venezuela. A relationship initially fostered by Chávez, the two countries pledged military support for one another in 2008, with reports indicating Iranian military advisers are already present within the Venezuelan army. [8] We are already seeing the negative impacts of such an alliance, as Iran is believed to be a key sponsor of the narco-terrorism currently plaguing South America. [9] In response to Iranian operatives seeking to use these narco-terrorist routes to enter America, the U.S. Navy has vowed to expand the scope of its worldwide operations. [10] This type of cooperation between the two countries serves as a destabilizing force throughout the Latin American region. More importantly, this violence could end up becoming uncomfortably close to American borders.

As with Russia, Venezuela is using its relationship with Iran to foster its own nuclear ambitions. In addition to exchanging information regarding nuclear technology, the two countries have mutually opposed UN anti-proliferation efforts and engaged in joint mining operations throughout Venezuela. [11] Similarly with Putin, Maduro seems keen to maintain and strengthen his predecessor’s relationship with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In addition to a warm congratulations following his victory, Ahmadinejad even proclaimed his intentions to attend Maduro’s inauguration. [12]

Venezuela, Russia and Iran are in the process of developing a formidable alliance that is bound by mutual economic and diplomatic goals, a very alarming prospect for the United States. Led by an increasingly assertive and internationally respected Vladimir Putin, this triumvirate could greatly damage U.S. interests across the world. Iran, along with continuing to antagonize Israel and destabilize the Middle East, is currently seeking to encroach upon American initiatives in Latin America. Russia, seeking to further expand its influence around the world, will soon capitalize upon their investments in Venezuela, potentially exerting considerable authority in the region. Finally, Venezuela, as a beneficiary of its continued partnerships with Russia and Iran, could over time develop into a South American superpower that rivals Brazil. Perhaps the aforementioned chain of events will not crystallize in such a consequential manner; however, Venezuela’s international ambitions certainly threaten the United States as well as the global balance of power.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: venezuelaputin
These are dangerous criminals who pretend "equality for all" as an excuse to create dictatorships that really function as a service for the BILLION $ Narco trade organizations. Chavez used his military personel and military cargo planes to turn Venezuela into the biggest distributor in the world of cocaine and more recently heroin. Why the silence? I'm pretty sure 75% of the politicians in this hemisphere are in their pockets. El Salvador just fell to another Chavez minion, and the media is silent. Voter fraud just got the Narco's another strategic port and compromised politician. Highly addictive cheap heroin from these countries is now inundating American cities, killing kids in epidemic numbers, and our silent politicians are pretending nothing is wrong?

There is no way we can believe that the NSA can spy on it's own citizens, people around the world, and has no idea this is going on. The IRS targets political opponents but they don't know that after thousands of lawsuits filed with the SEC exposing illegal practices of "Federally Regulated" Wall Street Banks including money laundering, banks like JP Morgan are in Caracas openly washing criminal BILLIONS with impunity, while the people don't have toilet paper! It is all about money and corruption. Everybody has a price. Our government knows exactly what is going on, and they are apparently complicit, because there is no other explanation.

1 posted on 03/11/2014 11:20:17 AM PDT by mgist
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To: mgist

2 posted on 03/11/2014 11:24:47 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: mgist
Unfortunately our esteemed SoS has declared the Monroe Doctrine dead.

So while Russia invades Crimea/Ukraine, they can use their residual resources to militarize Venezuela without consequence.

Friggen know-nothing leftists.

3 posted on 03/11/2014 11:25:14 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: mgist

As long as the dufus is CIC every place on earth is a threat, even Kego, Alabama.

4 posted on 03/11/2014 11:27:29 AM PDT by DeaconRed (Meanwhile, back at the Ranch. . . . . ZERO still as stupid and incompetent as ever! ! !)
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To: mgist

Why worry? Our esteemed leader, Mr. Ob is not worried.

5 posted on 03/11/2014 11:30:54 AM PDT by Vinylly
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To: skeeter

The American Left has wanted a big, militant, Socialist power in this hemisphere ever since the 70’s. To stand-up to our “imperialist aggression” and to cause big American corporations to begin soiling their britches.

6 posted on 03/11/2014 11:30:54 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: mgist

Venezuel1, with over 50% inflation and widespread shortages of basic necessities, is in no shape to be a threat to the US. But then, Obastard IS the president.

7 posted on 03/11/2014 11:34:29 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

A country with no toilet paper is not a threat to the USA.

8 posted on 03/11/2014 11:36:19 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2
Strangely, in that era when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in orbit, Soviet citizens, and even party officials had no toilet paper. My wife was a Lenin Pioneer and she said party congress records and other published paper was used. There were also no feminine hygiene products and even the elite car driving class (her parents had a car) used cloth rags.
9 posted on 03/11/2014 11:48:06 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 ( ...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Well, the left was kept in a box for 50 years by the real threat of communist aggression. So they'd better be careful what they hope for.

On the other hand, they've managed to populate the US countryside with people that have considerably less problem with commies than earlier generations of natives, so who knows.

10 posted on 03/11/2014 11:48:17 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: Georgia Girl 2
A country with no toilet paper is not a threat to the USA.

North Korea has no toilet paper, either.

11 posted on 03/11/2014 11:49:09 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter; All

“North Korea has no toilet paper, either.”

Well...yeah...but they have Dennis Rodman, so....they got that going for them.

12 posted on 03/11/2014 12:20:22 PM PDT by areukiddingme1 (areukiddingme1 is a synonym for a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and tired of liberal BS.))
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To: BenLurkin
No it is not in fact it is declining . When a would be communist regime has 50% inflation and people protesting in the streets it is just a matter of time. The inflation will likely hit 100% and then it will be over if it is not before.
13 posted on 03/11/2014 12:24:18 PM PDT by amnestynone (Lindsey Graham is feckless, duplicitous, treacherous, double dealing backstabbing Corksucker.)
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To: mgist

Venzuela’s oil is heavy, dirty with high sulfur. The USA’s Bakken oil is light, sweet, low sulfur and holds more than ten times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia’s.

Heavy oil is viscous and tarry, difficult to pump and clean up after. Most pipelines won’t accept heavy high crude unless it’s first blended with other oils and still the pipelines shun it because of the buildup inside the pipes that creates a maintenance nightmare.

Same with oil refineries, inject heavy crude into an oil refinery designed for lighter or blended crude and the refinery comes to a halt as the heavy crude renders pumps and valves inoperable.

Russians have the same problem with their crude. What the Russians have of value is natural gas. But the Russian supply of NG can be replaced. Obama should help facilitate a supply source replacement immediately for the Eurozone who have already requested the USA’s help in doing this. But Obama won’t do it because he and his people are corrupt and he will wait until the Eurozone offers enough compensation before he gets involved, and it may never happen.

Venezuela’s oil is also hard to get out of Venezuela. Oil tankers cannot sail into Maracaibo as the inlet is too shallow or narrow in parts. The closest a tanker can tie up is an international island terminal where the oil is brought by barge from Maracaibo.

And there is rampant corruption. Every little army officer has got his handout for a bribe or ‘fee’ and there is no end to it. Shipping insurance companies refuse to insure tankers so almost no registered and insurable oil tankers are found in Venezuelan territorial waters. Many oil buyers tell PDVSA (government oil company) to bring the oil to Houston and if it meets specs they’ll buy it.

The best the USA can do to snuff out socialists in Venezuela and to impede the Russians is to continue allowing the development of the Bakken Oil region, keep the US dollar strong by reducing spending, full stop on QE, prosecute banks that have avoided justice and make a deal with the Federal Reserve to destroy the debt it has monetized for the US government. Then there will be no crushing debt service as interest rates rise and there will be no deflationary collapse of the US Dollar. Hyperinflation can be held back by smart monetary policy. Invest in innovation and to boost GDP (the old formula) by more than 10% in one year pass the FairTax legislation HR 25 that presently has 75 sponsors in Congress supporting it.

American economic resurgence can lift the Eurozone and all the developed world with it. Then Putin’s autocratic Russia will return to their second to third world status because they lack the rule of law and infrastructure to honor contracts and allow markets to function.

I don’t look at Russia as a bear, I look at them as jackals. It is said when the lion leaves, the jackals move in. That is precisely what is happening on the world stage with Russia now.

One more note about Russia, three mafia like families control all the oil in Russia. Putin is part of one of them. They don’t like each other but for now they have a truce of sorts. Any of Putin’s bravado taken out of his lungs by calling his hand that leads to his embarrassment will see the other autocrats come down on him like a sledge hammer. Then the world can say goodbye to Putin. The departure of Putin will bring in another ruling family with similar ambitions, but in the transient period, fellows like Maduro will be taken down as they wander about aimlessly.

Short summary: Putin and Madero are not as strong as they would like people to think they are. But the incompetence of Obama and his people allows them to strut their machismo. They are more like paper tigers but the Russians do have nukes so they command some respect. If they ever mobilized to use nukes, the Russian people would likely come close to a civil war as they know the autocrats in the past have damaged Russia severely.

14 posted on 03/11/2014 12:40:18 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: mgist

Venezuela has also enthusiastically supported and welcomed Iranian and Hezbollah groups’ infestation into South America. I remember a time in which the United States would NOT have stood for that.

15 posted on 03/11/2014 12:57:36 PM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: BenLurkin

Let Putin wander into the Venezuelan swap They are totally unreliable broke their oil is crap and we are about the only country that can crack it

Let Putin spend money and try to dear with these cretins. We can use the break

16 posted on 03/11/2014 1:08:24 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: areukiddingme1
Well...yeah...but they have Dennis Rodman, so....they got that going for them.

Thats my point. They can cope with that turd without relying on TP.

17 posted on 03/11/2014 1:12:12 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter

North Korea is not a theat to the US either.

18 posted on 03/11/2014 2:35:13 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: ScottinVA
I remember a time in which the United States would NOT have stood for that.

Yup, that was 2008.

19 posted on 03/11/2014 2:35:20 PM PDT by mgist (.)
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To: Monterrosa-24

I believe it. Russia is and always has been a third world country.

20 posted on 03/11/2014 2:36:45 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

Article from 2011.

Government ignoring Iran Venezuela Narco Terrorism Connection

Press stories, as well as a television documentary, over the past two months have detailed the growing cooperation between South American drug traffickers and Middle Eastern terrorists, proving that the United States continues to ignore the mounting terrorist threat in its own “backyard” of Latin America at its own peril.

A greater portion of financing for Middle Eastern terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, is coming from Latin America, while they are also setting up training camps and recruiting centers throughout our continent, endangering American lives and interests globally. Some Latin American countries that were traditional allies for the U.S. (including Venezuela) have now forged significant political and economic alliances with regimes whose interests are at odds with those of the U.S., particularly China, Russia and Iran.

In fact Iran and Iran’s Lebanese asset, “the Party of God,” Hezbollah, have now become the main terror sponsors in the region and are increasingly funded by South American cocaine. (now it is heroin)

21 posted on 03/11/2014 2:37:35 PM PDT by mgist (.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2
The Norks have intermediary range missiles capable of hitting regions of the US. They have an insane man as supreme leader who has said ugly things to us and our allies in the past, and has attacked his neighbor to the south without provocation.

I'd call that a threat of sorts.

22 posted on 03/11/2014 2:45:15 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: BenLurkin
Communists love their power fist salutes...

23 posted on 03/11/2014 2:51:26 PM PDT by newfreep
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To: mgist

Venezuela is not and never will by a threat to the USA.

However, if we don’t do something to stop the immigration invasion, we will be getting a Chavez style hard socialist president one day.

24 posted on 03/11/2014 3:01:04 PM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: skeeter

When the Norks blow off a missile they don’t have a clue of where its going to land. It would just as likely land in Beijeing square as the US.

If you want to lose sleep I would suggest my two favorite nightmares; a cyber attack putting the grid down or Obama declaring martial law and trying to take over.

25 posted on 03/11/2014 3:31:39 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Monmouth78

Pride is in such opposition to God. Venezuelans NEVER thought something as ridiculous as what happened to Cuba, could ever happen to Venezuela. This is what God says about immigration. So does my Catholic faith. It is something Reagan understood.

Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Matthew 25:35

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Exodus 22:21

“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Malachi 3:5

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

Deuteronomy 27:19

“‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Zechariah 7:9-10

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

Hebrews 13:2

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Jeremiah 7:5-7

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

Ezekiel 47:22

You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

Leviticus 25:35

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.

Deuteronomy 26:5

“And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

Deuteronomy 10:18

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Matthew 5:46-47

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

Proverbs 31:8-9

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Genesis 12:1

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

Philippians 3:20
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Ruth 1:16

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Genesis 18:1-8

And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”

Luke 13:29
And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.

Matthew 5:40-42

And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Matthew 2:14

And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Luke 13:29-30

And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Mark 12:30-31

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Psalm 137:1-9

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!

1 Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Luke 3:5-7

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

26 posted on 03/11/2014 6:49:39 PM PDT by mgist (.)
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To: mgist

You cannot have a first world country with a third world population.

27 posted on 03/11/2014 9:37:14 PM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: Monmouth78
"You cannot have a first world country with a third world population."

So you know better than God? Marxism distorts God's love with lies, divides, creates resentment, and can rationalize evil hehavior as a means tonan end. Whether you know it or not, you have Marxist influences. We are either a nation of God or we will decieved and led astray. Easy as that. In all honesty Venezuelans were equally arrogant in their belle epoch. It was a great country. Maybe it's true that a nation deserves its' leaders? Regardless friend, if you put your own beliefs above those of God, life will knock you on your ass and humble you and those you love. No bueno. I pray the Holy Spirit give us all the wisdom to do His will! Not ours.

28 posted on 03/12/2014 5:29:31 AM PDT by mgist (.)
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