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Thread: Venezuela Embargo/Sanctions

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Venezuela Embargo/Sanctions

    From US News & World Report
    https://www.usnews.com/opinion/world...elas-elections

    Apparently the US government is considering an oil embargo ahead of Venezuela's upcoming elections, drawing on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make up any shortfalls in imports, on top of sanctions that were already imposed last summer. Venezuela's been in a sharp dive these last several years, and they're experiencing an extreme economic crisis since oil prices collapsed several years ago.

    Marco Rubio sent out a tweet about a month ago in support of a coup by the Venezuelan military against the "Bolivarian" government.

    Behind the Scenes in Venezuela

    The Trump administration is intensifying its regime change efforts to potentially include torpedoing Venezuela's presidential election.

    In recent weeks, the Trump administration has stepped up its efforts at "regime change" in Venezuela. In the past, Trump himself has even mentioned military action as a possible option, but the most recent moves appear more likely to be implemented, and some are already operational.

    According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the leading opposition contender for Venezuela's May presidential election, Henri Falcón, was told by U.S. officials that the Trump administration would consider financial sanctions against him if he entered the presidential race. (The U.S. State Department did not return requests for comment.) The U.S. has backed the main opposition coalition decision to boycott the election.

    Falcón is a former governor and retired military officer. He is leading in the latest polls, and according to the most reliable opposition pollster, would defeat Maduro in the election by a margin of nearly 7 percentage points.

    Why would the Trump administration want to prevent an opposition leader who could possibly win the presidency in Venezuela from running in this election? There is no way to know for sure, but high-level sources from inside the administration have stated that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is determining U.S. policy toward Venezuela. Rubio is a hardliner who does not seem interested in an electoral or negotiated solution to Venezuela's political crisis. On Feb. 9, he appeared to support a military coup when he tweeted:

    @marcorubio

    The world would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator
    8:26 AM - Feb 9, 2018
    Now U.S. officials are talking about a more ferocious collective punishment: cutting off Venezuela's oil sales. This was not done previously because it would hurt U.S. oil refining interests that import Venezuelan oil. But the administration has floated the idea of tapping the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves to soften the blow. All this to overthrow a government that nobody can claim poses any threat to the United States.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Mar 18, at 12:17.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    US embargo would be the 'death knell' for Venezuela's oil industry, analyst says

    • "The imposition of U.S. oil sanctions is now edging closer to reality. Such a move would act as the death knell for Venezuela's oil industry," Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note Wednesday.
    • President Donald Trump is reportedly considering sanctioning Venezuela's crude industry in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
    • A move to directly target Venezuela's oil industry would be a huge blow to Maduro's socialist administration, which is depending almost entirely on crude sales to try and decelerate a deepening economic crisis.

    The red flags of an imminent U.S. embargo on Venezuelan crude are already apparent, according to an oil analyst, with ramifications of such a move likely to exacerbate an unprecedented economic meltdown.

    "The imposition of U.S. oil sanctions is now edging closer to reality. Such a move would act as the death knell for Venezuela's oil industry," Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note Wednesday.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering sanctioning Venezuela's crude industry in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reported Thursday, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

    This follows a stark warning from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said at the start of February that sanctioning Venezuela's oil or prohibiting the crude to be sold in the U.S. was something the White House was continuing to mull over.

    A move to directly target Venezuela's oil industry would be a huge blow to Maduro's socialist administration, which is depending almost entirely on crude sales to try and decelerate a deepening economic crisis.
    '21st century socialism'

    Last year, Venezuela was the fourth largest supplier of crude oil and products to the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    Brennock said U.S. imposed sanctions on the oil-dependent state's crude industry would force Caracas to offer steep discounts in a desperate search for new buyers and also leave the country reeling with the prospect of supply restrictions of vital diluents. Such diluents are essential in helping to market and transport Venezuela's tar-like heavy crude, he added.

    Meanwhile, Maduro is running for another six-year term in a general election next month. The current premier is asking supporters to stick with his brand of "21st century socialism" in order to keep the country on track to recover 70 percent of its lost oil production in the first six months of the year.

    In 2017, Venezuela's crude sales to the U.S. slipped below 600,000 — the lowest level of sales to America in almost three decades, according to Reuters.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/01/us-e...lyst-says.html
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Mar 18, at 21:47.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    U.S. sanctions and worries of a coup erode Maduro's control of Venezuelan military

    When military counter-intelligence officers went to Fort Tiuna in Caracas on May 2, they found the Ayala Battalion's Russian-made armored vehicles loaded with ammunition, in violation of regulations.

    The battalion's commander was arrested and now faces charges of treason, as do five lieutenant colonels.

    That same day, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez went to Fort Tiuna and ordered all Military Academy cadets to leave immediately. His extraordinary visit was sparked by fears of an insurrection, military sources told el Nuevo Herald.

    Two days earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had ordered 24 officers expelled from the armed forces, including collaborators of the late President Hugo Chávez. He also considered seizing the passports of National Bolivarian Police members to try to stem the massive defections within the institution. Both steps increased the already deep discontent within Venezuela's security forces.

    Those are just the most recent indications that Maduro is losing the loyalty of its military officers amid an economic collapse that has brought hunger to the armed forces, and the possibility of economic sanctions and even trials of officers for human rights violations.

    Recent signals from Washington that it would accept a military coup against an authoritarian regime with links to drug trafficking also have been fueling the uncertainty among security forces.
    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...#storylink=cpy

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    A great thread to revive as it details at least some of the US hubris and dirty tricks being played against Venezuela. All about the US being able to lay claim to Venezuela's oil resources of course.

    But now the Russians are there and they're fully involved in working along with Maduro and Venezuela to defend yet another small country against US aggression.

    And so far at least, Russia doesn't seem to be paying any attention to Trump's threats.

    Which side will back down first? I suspect that Trump's foolish demands that Russia get out will be shuffled to the background and we won't hear much more of that kind of crap!

    What do you forum members think? Will Russia/Putin run with their tails between their legs? I suspect not!

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    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    montgomery, is the world better off with the US playing the role of global police, or, Russia or China?
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    montgomery, is the world better off with the US playing the role of global police, or, Russia or China?
    The world is certainly a lot worse off with the US playing the role of global police. And as to Russia or China, they have no ambitions to play the role.

    With the US being responsible for 40 wars of aggression since WW2 alone, it's disqualified itself from any kind of policing or of claiming any pretense of morality. Thank the dogs for Russia and China and their nuclear deterrent which has kept the world safe for 75 years and probably will for the next 75.

    What a strange question to ask! But I'm pleased that you would want to know my opinion. So what do you think?

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    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by montgomery View Post
    The world is certainly a lot worse off with the US playing the role of global police. And as to Russia or China, they have no ambitions to play the role.

    With the US being responsible for 40 wars of aggression since WW2 alone, it's disqualified itself from any kind of policing or of claiming any pretense of morality. Thank the dogs for Russia and China and their nuclear deterrent which has kept the world safe for 75 years and probably will for the next 75.

    What a strange question to ask! But I'm pleased that you would want to know my opinion. So what do you think?
    I think you're hitting the right note here. I am very pleased with your answers as well as your sound logic. I have one more question, if you please. MAD doesn't apply to China w.r.t America. So, aren't Chinese nukes a non-starter if the US wants to battle it out? Maybe I didn't read things correctly or just plain misinformed.

    America was evil, is evil and shall always remain evil. The thing that bothers me is what should be done to accelerate the fall of the global hegemon. Any ideas?
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I think you're hitting the right note here. I am very pleased with your answers as well as your sound logic.
    And thank you once again for your kind remarks.

    I have one more question, if you please. MAD doesn't apply to China w.r.t America. So, aren't Chinese nukes a non-starter if the US wants to battle it out? Maybe I didn't read things correctly or just plain misinformed.
    I'm not sure I understand what you are meaning when you say that MAD doesn't apply to China w/r/t the US? If you're suggesting that the US would be able to completely disregard the fact that China has nuclear weapons, then I'm not prepared to say I'm informed enough on the question to disagree. I would only go so far as to suggest that it would be a risk which the US would not want to take. Also, the question could be more suitably asked, and answered regarding N. Korea in my opinion. N.K. should be considered as much less of a threat to the US than China, yet it is apparently still considered a threat, if I read the issue right.

    And of course the whole issue is in my opinion the 'unthinkable', which makes it difficult to even contemplate. What is your opinion on China being a counter threat? I can only say, contrary to the opinion of the military mindset, the possibility of a nuclear power starting a war with another nuclear power is very unlikely due to the risk factor.

    America was evil, is evil and shall always remain evil. The thing that bothers me is what should be done to accelerate the fall of the global hegemon. Any ideas?
    My interests are not in seeing or hastening the fall of America. But as pertains to this discussion, I'm interested in the fact that MAD has saved humanity since the end of WW2 and will likely continue to save us.

    I should also add that I'm not of the opinion that there's a threat of world war posed solely by the US.

    p.s.- I'm also a longtime fan of Mark Twain, a man who was thinking far beyond his time. (his war prayer is one of my favourites)

    Cheers, and congrats on your country's outstanding health care system!

  9. #9
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by montgomery View Post
    And thank you once again for your kind remarks.
    Your posts are worth every penny.

    Quote Originally Posted by montgomery View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you are meaning when you say that MAD doesn't apply to China w/r/t the US? If you're suggesting that the US would be able to completely disregard the fact that China has nuclear weapons, then I'm not prepared to say I'm informed enough on the question to disagree. I would only go so far as to suggest that it would be a risk which the US would not want to take. Also, the question could be more suitably asked, and answered regarding N. Korea in my opinion. N.K. should be considered as much less of a threat to the US than China, yet it is apparently still considered a threat, if I read the issue right.

    And of course the whole issue is in my opinion the 'unthinkable', which makes it difficult to even contemplate. What is your opinion on China being a counter threat? I can only say, contrary to the opinion of the military mindset, the possibility of a nuclear power starting a war with another nuclear power is very unlikely due to the risk factor.

    My interests are not in seeing or hastening the fall of America. But as pertains to this discussion, I'm interested in the fact that MAD has saved humanity since the end of WW2 and will likely continue to save us.

    I should also add that I'm not of the opinion that there's a threat of world war posed solely by the US.

    p.s.- I'm also a longtime fan of Mark Twain, a man who was thinking far beyond his time. (his war prayer is one of my favourites)
    Mark Twain and one of his friend were taking a stroll when they came upon this bridge. Not bridges as we see them today. Anyway, once on the bridge, Mark pushed his friend off the bridge. The dude fell, writhing in pain, the bruises gifted by his friend. Mark pushed him off the bridge, as he wanted to capture the reaction on his friends face while he was in pain. Sadistic bastard, really, great men often are.

    Quote Originally Posted by montgomery View Post
    Cheers, and congrats on your country's outstanding health care system!
    Singapore? Thank you. Well, we take pleasure beating the Americans all the time. And we're just an island. I can't even fathom what China would do to the US in the future. Superpower stuff.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Your posts are worth every penny.



    Mark Twain and one of his friend were taking a stroll when they came upon this bridge. Not bridges as we see them today. Anyway, once on the bridge, Mark pushed his friend off the bridge. The dude fell, writhing in pain, the bruises gifted by his friend. Mark pushed him off the bridge, as he wanted to capture the reaction on his friends face while he was in pain. Sadistic bastard, really, great men often are.



    Singapore? Thank you. Well, we take pleasure beating the Americans all the time. And we're just an island. I can't even fathom what China would do to the US in the future. Superpower stuff.
    Where did you get your Mark Twain story? Or if you made it up yourself, what's the point?

    Something like this, from memory: If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he won't bite your hand. This is the principle difference between a man and a dog. ~ Mark Twain.
    Last edited by montgomery; 04 Apr 19, at 01:25.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by montgomery View Post
    I'm interested in the fact that MAD has saved humanity since the end of WW2 and will likely continue to save us.
    So you are a deterrence optimist.

    A lot of commentary i've read tends to be deterrence pessimist and is just a plug to get rid of nukes entirely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So you are a deterrence optimist.

    A lot of commentary i've read tends to be deterrence pessimist and is just a plug to get rid of nukes entirely.
    Did you mean? A lot of the commentary I've read tends to be pessimistic about deterrence and is just a plug......... etc.

    If so, I find that to be a very strange position to take, and not just by you but apparently by everybody on the board so far who has weighed in on it. Is this an issue with everybody not being able to face the plain fact that MAD is just factually correct. This would then also be not having to face the fact that no world power, including the US, can pull off a preemptive attack on another nuclear power without it resulting in unacceptable damage to the aggressor.

    I think that it's only your imagination that causes you to imagine that Russia, China, India, or Pakistan would be interested in getting rid of nukes completely. But I see very definite reasons why the US would want that. Without nuclear weapons, the US PNAC agenda could be completed within a short time. A cakewalk over Russia in no more than 6 months? Less?

    Why take 6 months when it could all be accomplished by all sides before daylight? Would you suggest otherwise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So you are a deterrence optimist.

    A lot of commentary i've read tends to be deterrence pessimist and is just a plug to get rid of nukes entirely.
    Did you mean? A lot of the commentary I've read tends to be pessimistic about deterrence and is just a plug......... etc.

    If so, I find that to be a very strange position to take, and not just by you but apparently by everybody on the board so far who has weighed in on it. Is this an issue with everybody not being able to face the plain fact that MAD is just factually correct. This would then also be not having to face the fact that no world power, including the US, can pull off a preemptive attack on another nuclear power without it resulting in unacceptable damage to the aggressor.

    I think that it's only your imagination that causes you to imagine that Russia, China, India, or Pakistan would be interested in getting rid of nukes completely. But I see very definite reasons why the US would want that. Without nuclear weapons, the US PNAC agenda could be completed within a short time. A cakewalk over Russia in no more than 6 months? Less?

    Why take 6 months when it could all be accomplished by all sides before daylight? Would you suggest otherwise?

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    If Maduro cares for his compatriots, he has to agree on early presidential elections. It is not responsible for a statesman to hold his people in hostage of his own ambition for power, when crisis have reached the scale of humanitarian disaster. It doesn't matter what influence comes from outside, from Washington, Moscow, or Beijing.. Responsibility for consequences lays into Maduros' personal decisions. As far as actors from outside give advise, help or obstruct Maduro so to continue in non-democratic development of Venezuela, or such actors intervene to further aggravate the living conditions of Venezuelan people, this is another layer of responsibility borne by those actors

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    Quote Originally Posted by m a x View Post
    If Maduro cares for his compatriots, he has to agree on early presidential elections. It is not responsible for a statesman to hold his people in hostage of his own ambition for power, when crisis have reached the scale of humanitarian disaster. It doesn't matter what influence comes from outside, from Washington, Moscow, or Beijing.. Responsibility for consequences lays into Maduros' personal decisions. As far as actors from outside give advise, help or obstruct Maduro so to continue in non-democratic development of Venezuela, or such actors intervene to further aggravate the living conditions of Venezuelan people, this is another layer of responsibility borne by those actors
    You're putting an incorrect political spin on the Venezuela issues max. It's no business of the US whether Maduro calls elections early. The situation in Venezuela is cause totally by US interference and the only thing that's going to stop the interference is a change of government.

    Negative influence comes from Washington, which is the opposite of the of that comes from Beijing and Moscow in food, medical supplies, and humanitarian aid. And now China and Russia have expressed their determination to stay put in Venezuela. Relief from Venezuela's problems will only come when the US finally comes to understand that another war isn't an option.

    A free and fair election is needed but that isn't something for the US to dictate when it takes place. I suspect that Maduro still has the support of his people behind him, and we know he has the military. A military led coup against the Maduro government is not in the cards but there's always the possibility of a US promoted assassination.

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