It's 2003 all over again, right down to the mustachioed John Bolton, who freely admitted to Fox Business host Trish Regan on Thursday night that the ultimate goal of United States activity in Venezuela is to take over their oil production -- or, in simpler terms, take their oil.
Wouldn't Koch Industries love that? After all, they've sued Venezuela for millions -- basically calling their loans -- in order to destabilize their economy and punish President Maduro, who is a terribly brutal leader, but nevertheless elected by the people in an election which has been certified.
Mike Pence, a wholly-sponsored Koch project, was instrumental in injecting the United States into Venezuelan political unrest, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr. Pence pledged that the U.S. would back Mr. Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.
That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaidó himself.
It culminated in the 35-year-old Mr. Guaidó’s declaration Wednesday that Mr. Maduro’s government was illegitimate and that Mr. Guaidó, president of the country’s National Assembly, was assuming power in accordance with the country’s constitution.
Almost instantly, just as Mr. Pence had promised, President Trump issued a statement recognizing Mr. Guaidó as the country’s rightful leader. Soon after came similar pronouncements from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and others.
Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the appointment of the execrable Elliott Abrams to be the United States liason with Venezuela. Yes, the very same Elliott Abrams who was pardoned for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration and the Bush-era cheerleader for the Iraq War. Read all about him here.
All of that is background for John Bolton's shameless appearance on Fox Business Thursday night, where he unabashedly admitted the United States is meddling for a specific purpose.
"Venezuela is one of the three countries i call the Troika of Tyranny," Bolton told Trish Regan. "It would make a difference if we could have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela. It would be good for Venezuela and the people of the United States."
Why would it be good for us and them, you ask? FREEDOM. Sweet freedom from the tyranny of socialism, he explains.
Venezuela is complex. That goes without saying. Nicolas Maduro was elected in what can only be described as a sham election, he has been a brutal leader to the Venezuelan people, the economy is trashed (thanks in part to the Kochs and other greedy oil barons), and the people are suffering. All of those things are true, but that does not in any way excuse our intervention in their politics nor does it mean we have some God-ordained right to de-nationalize their oil and take their profits away from the people of that country.
It is disgusting to see history repeating itself this way. Disgusting.