Keep Watching Venezuela

World news sources are covering the big day of riots in Venezuela.  Three were reported killed yesterday as protestors marched, demonstrated, rioted violently, and looted shops in what’s being called the “Mother Of All Protests” against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.  Opposition leaders in the nation’s parliament are calling for more days of protests unless Maduro steps down.

Meanwhile, CNN has announced that Serena Williams is pregnant.

Not to take anything away from Serena Williams, by the way; she’s arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time or some such thing (I don’t know; it’s sportsball.  But that’s what I’m told.)  But there’s something amiss when, in order to keep track of the social crisis in the country with the world’s largest oil reserves, you’ve got to go out to the BBC.  And nothing against the BBC either — but we’ve got six dedicated news networks based in the United States, and none seems to be covering this.

Yes, I did say “world’s largest oil reserves”.  If you’re wondering how a country with such a massive supply of oil could possibly be in the middle of an economic crisis… well, it’s a long story.  I wrote a little about it here, but books could be written on the subject.  I’ll bottom-line it for ya:  corruption on a massive scale, strongman dictatorship, and an aggressive socialist federalism leading to a decline in meritocratic business management.  They mismanaged their oil industry almost to death.

Granted, the United States has helped, and by ‘helped’ I mean ‘imposed sanctions’.  Dictatorships usually aren’t much for personal freedoms, and the governments of Chavez and his successor Maduro have been no exception.  Underlying this, however, is the refusal of Venezuela to work with their northern neighbor to help restrict smuggling — sex slaves, drugs, and weapons move through Venezuela’s ports wholesale.

Which is why I keep saying we need to watch this situation and closely.  President Trump has already committed to ramping up the War On Drugs, and that means controlling smuggling.  Human trafficking and terrorism are two other things he seems to feel strongly about, and then there’s the human rights violations to provide an excuse.  My bet is, we’re secretly supporting the opposition party riots, and when the time is right we’ll send in the Marines.

(Again, that’s not news.  It’s informed speculation.)

The Wikipedia article on the current Venezuelan crisis has some pretty choppy grammar, but it’s nevertheless fairly educational.

Here’s a U.S. Navy site where you can track carrier groups.  The Ford has completed builder’s trials, and five others are either in port or just off the coast.  They’re getting ready for action, people.

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