Monday, 08 April 2019

Is the Liberty of Venezuela the Responsibility of the United States?

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As tens of thousands of Venezuelans demonstrated this past weekend in the streets of their country — angry over weeks of power outages, limited access to water, and shortages of food and medicine — Americans should know that the doctrine of socialism has claimed yet another country.

And with that knowledge, it is understandable that many freedom-loving Americans are becoming increasingly open to the idea of a U.S. military intervention, with the idea of ousting from power socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. American leaders — including President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, and National Security Advisor John Bolton — are actually leading the chorus of condemnation, with the possibility of U.S. military intervention becoming more likely.

Yet, before the United States takes that serious step, several things should be considered. First of all, were the United States to send military forces into a sovereign nation, that is clearly an act of war, and as such, would require an actual declaration of war by Congress as stipulated by the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 8.

In the 1820s, the culturally Christian nation of Greece was struggling to free itself from the Islamic Ottoman Empire, and looked to the United States — then considered a Christian nation — for help. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams expressed sympathy for the Greek cause, saying, “We are the friends of liberty everywhere,” but, he added, we are “the guardians only of our own.”

“America does not go abroad, in search of monsters to destroy,” Adams explained.

Clearly, the Maduro-led government of Venezuela is one that a freedom-loving American should be glad to see fall from power. It provides a textbook case as to why socialism is destructive both to liberty and to prosperity. At the same time, with Adams’ remarks in mind, is this really something that the United States should do — invade countries and overthrow dictators we don’t like?

To be blunt, the Venezuelan people did this to themselves. They voted into power the late socialist dictator Hugo Chávez, who took a vibrant and prosperous economy in an oil-rich nation, and drove it into the ground. His socialist successor, Maduro, has continued with the same policies with predictable results.

After an election in 2018 that is widely considered fraudulent, Maduro claimed victory over his opponent, Juan Guaidó, the leader of the National Assembly. Guaidó, citing a provision of the Venezuelan Constitution, declared that Maduro is the usurper, and has claimed in January that he is now the interim president. The provision states that if there is an absence of a legitimately-elected president, the president of the National Assembly becomes an interim president.

For his part, Maduro has received the support of the National Constituent Assembly, regarded by most international observers as a puppet of Maduro. He persuaded them to revoke Guaidó of his immunity from arrest.

In short, the elements are ripe for a civil war in the country.

Is this really a boiling cauldron into which America should place its toe?

Some argue that Russia’s decision to land two planes with some 100 soldiers in the capital city of Caracas on March 23 should activate the Monroe Doctrine, which was actually written by the same John Quincy Adams who warned against searching for monsters to destroy. The Monroe Doctrine states that the United States would not look with favor upon any attempt by a foreign power attempting to colonize any portion of the Western Hemisphere.

Russia argues that the soldiers are there to service the Russian-made S-300 air defense systems, damaged by recent energy blackouts.

National Security Advisor Bolton warned Moscow against any attempt to deploy “military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations. We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.”

Not surprisingly, globalists are looking to use the crisis in Venezuela. CNBC published a piece by Frederick Kempe, the president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, a globalist think tank, that boldly asserts, “Venezuela may be the right place to catalyze deeper links among the United States, Canada, key European allies and leading democracies in Latin America.”

In other words, a military intervention into socialist Venezuela might be initially satisfying to those Americans that hate socialist dictatorships like that of the Maduro regime, but the end result could be that we surrender some of our sovereignty in order to do so. After all, if an electoral dispute is enough to trigger foreign intervention, we should note that many leading Democrats have declared the election of Donald Trump as fraudulent, as well. While we may think such whining is sour grapes on the part of the Democrats and their socialist allies in the United States, could the day come when an intervention into Venezuela could lay the precedent for foreign intervention in our own country?

As of now, Maduro is quite unpopular in his own country. Perhaps the only thing that could turn that animosity around is an invasion by a foreign enemy. The United States should not make the mistake of providing the dictator Maduro with a foreign enemy.

One senior official for President Trump told reporters, according to the Washington Examiner, that intervention is “a very serious option.” While the official said that invasion is an option that “no one would like to see,” it is under serious consideration.

Hopefully, the matter will be left to the Venezuelan people themselves to resolve, and will not lead to the spilling of American blood and treasure in yet another foreign intervention.

Image: andriano_cz via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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