About a month ago, a reader took exception to my letter on Venezuela and Cuba. I did a fact check on myself and concluded the letter was spot on. My letter should have been longer and more explanatory.
In 2018, the elections in Venezuela were a sham. Stuffed ballot boxes. Intimidation by Maduro's thugs at some polling stations. Juan Guaido declared himself president Jan. 23, 2019.
Guaido is an engineer who is the head of the National Assembly, which is the opposition party. The majority of Venezuela want him to be the president. More than 50 countries recognize him to be the president, including the United States. Naturally, China and Russia support Maduro because they want influence in that part of the world. China has invested billions in that country yet they have not seen any results. Russia sells weapons to that country.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. In 1950, Venezuela was the fourth richest country in the world per capita.
When Chavez took power in Venezuela is when the country started on its downhill spiral. More of the same mismanagement continued when Maduro took over.
Maduro's military is not organized. It is broken up into several factions who are all posturing for some advantage in the regime. There is even one faction that is supported by Cubans to root out any opposition and crush it by any means necessary.
Even though some Venezuelan soldiers are defecting to Columbia there is still a hard core element that is supporting Maduro unconditionally. These are the military elements that need to be dealt with.
The oil sanctions are hurting Maduro, but something has to be done to bring them into check so Guaido can transition into his legitimate presidency and start helping that country to get back on track.
Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista left the country just before Castro took power. His plane was full of cash, gold and stolen artwork. When the U.S. mob ran the casinos in Havana, they had to give Batista 30% of the winnings per month. That is where Batista's big money came from.
We stand a better chance of getting democratic rule in Venezuela than we do in Cuba. Cuba has a group of communists in power who don't want to make any concessions to the U.S. Cuba will take more time and patience.
Of course, the U.S. is looking out for its interests. Any country worth two cents should be looking out for the best interests of their country.