Skip to comments.Venezuela: A Growing Threat to the United States
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 Chávezs leftist policies such as manipulative price controls, which has subsequently led to a stalled economy ridden with inflation . 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, Venezuelas 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, Chávezs 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.  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.  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 Worlds Most Powerful List is a symbolic transition.  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, Venezuelas 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.  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 countrys 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.  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. 
Iran, classified by the U.S. as the worlds 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.  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.  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.  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.  Similarly with Putin, Maduro seems keen to maintain and strengthen his predecessors relationship with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In addition to a warm congratulations following his victory, Ahmadinejad even proclaimed his intentions to attend Maduros inauguration. 
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, Venezuelas international ambitions certainly threaten the United States as well as the global balance of power.
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. http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/21/jp-morgans-venezuelan-cronyism-reaches-a-boiling-point/
So while Russia invades Crimea/Ukraine, they can use their residual resources to militarize Venezuela without consequence.
Friggen know-nothing leftists.
As long as the dufus is CIC every place on earth is a threat, even Kego, Alabama.
Why worry? Our esteemed leader, Mr. Ob is not worried.
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.
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.
A country with no toilet paper is not a threat to the USA.
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.
North Korea has no toilet paper, either.
“North Korea has no toilet paper, either.”
Well...yeah...but they have Dennis Rodman, so....they got that going for them.
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.
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.
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
Thats my point. They can cope with that turd without relying on TP.
North Korea is not a theat to the US either.
Yup, that was 2008.
I believe it. Russia is and always has been a third world country.