Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is causing quite a stir on the geopolitical stage after calling on his nation’s military forces to get prepared for battle against the U.S.
Maduro, who seems to have a flare for the overdramatic, released a statement calling the United States the “most criminal empire that has ever existed,” which is quite ironic and a little funny given how the many socialist governments of of that region, including his own, have committed atrocious crimes against their people.
Whatever helps the man sleep at night, right? Right.
Anyhow, it’s highly unlikely that anyone in the Trump camp is really losing any sleep over this threat, as it’s just one more knee-jerk reaction from folks who simply got way too comfortable with a weakened United States under the not-so-watchful eye of former President Barack Obama.
“We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace,” said Maduro, who wore a green uniform and a military hat as he spoke with his army top brass during a military exercise involving tanks and missiles. “We need to have rifles, missiles and well-oiled tanks at the ready….to defend every inch of the territory if needs be,” he added.
The Trump administration has taken a hard stance against Maduro’s regime by banning money lending to Venezuela’s government or its state oil company PDVSA, and passing sanctions against Maduro and his top officials.
Maduro referenced the sanctions during his speech at the military base. As he spoke, Russian military plans flew in the sky as part of the training exercise, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The future of humanity cannot be the world of illegal sanctions, of economic persecution,” Maduro said.
It’s unlikely Maduro has the manpower to stand up to the U.S., which has a much larger military. Maduro has maintained power in Venezuela despite mounting political and economic crises that has seen months of violent, anti-government demonstrations across the South American nation. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino has backed Maduro during the upheaval, but some critics have begun a whisper campaign suggesting that the military could break away and support a coup against the president, Herbert Garcia, a former senior army general and minister, told Reuters in August. There have been three attempted military coups in Venezuela since 1992.
Russia has defended Maduro in recent months, going so far as to accuse Trump of preparing for an invasion of Caracas. “We are strongly against unilateral sanctions against sovereign states,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in August. “We will carefully analyze the implications of the sanctions imposed by the United States, and their possible effect on the interests of Russia and Russian businesses. We can already say that they will not affect our willingness to expand and strengthen cooperation with the friendly nation of Venezuela and its people.”
Once again, this seems like a whole lot of “huff and puff” from folks who are used to the last eight years of weak leadership, of having a president in the Oval Office they can easily intimidate and bully, who will not respond to threats and let other countries get away with all kinds of nonsense.
We’ve been missing from the geopolitical stage for a long, long time, and Russia saw that as an opportunity to attempt making themselves a super power that would fill in that gap. It’s understandable they wouldn’t be too pleased to see us making a comeback.
Though they might want to think twice before making threats and poking the bear. That’s just never a smart idea.