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Updated November 20th.
In 2013, then-secretary of state Kerry said: “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over … That’s worth applauding. That’s not a bad thing.” Why is it not a bad thing? Perhaps because that administration had consistently handed the advantage to America’s enemies. A good example is Obama’s doing nothing about Iran’s alleged building of a missile site in Venezuela, reported in 2011.
A second missile crisis?
Iran has established an ominous relationship with Venezuela that includes launching a project to build intermediate-range missile launch pads on the Paraguaná Peninsula, reported by the Jerusalem Post six years ago; Obama did nothing. The peninsula is only 1200 miles from the U.S.—putting Washington DC well within range. This dire project has been on hold during the Iran talks, but since their completion in July 2015, it can proceed. We must not allow this.
Fox News had reported in March 2015 that Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society said: “Iran allegedly helped build a UAV [drone] facility in Maracay, Venezuela,” adding that “I believe the Iranian UAV program is a cover for something that is more illicit.” “Perhaps something that’s sanctioned and most likely involves Iran’s strategic programs—its nuclear program and ballistic missiles.”
Last August, the Hill reported that:
Veja Magazine exposed an official document dated Aug. 3, 2009, showing that then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez had approved a $1.3-million investment for a joint venture between Venezuela’s state defense contractor, CAVIM, and Iran’s Parchin Chemical Industries.
The project involved the establishment and improvement of facilities for producing nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, both key components of solid rocket fuel.
Since the notoriously one-sided Iran deal, “United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the deal, lifted the ban on Iran’s ballistic-missile activity entirely…. The infrastructure Iran established in Latin America to advance its missile program during the sanctions era will now make it easier for Tehran to further its program.”
So, we may soon be facing a second missile crisis, if something isn’t done. No sane nation would allow a missile threat on its doorstep, and no compassionate nation would allow thousands to perish on its doorstep.
Abrogating the Monroe Doctrine clearly endorses building such a site, or anything else Iran chooses to do in the Western Hemisphere.
Iran has thoroughly infiltrated the Venezuelan government, and Iranians are manning the colectivos that are beating protestors to a pulp.
A potent threat against America is building
Maduro’s new constitution will leave Venezuelans devoid of democracy, in a move toward establishing a Cuban-style dictatorship. In an interview on Fox News, Marco Rubio warned that, if not opposed, the “New Venezuela” will destabilize Colombia, and move on to Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and on into Mexico, which will have a leftist Chavez-like candidate running next year. The narco-migratory pressure will soon be at our border.
Maduro using food as a weapon against opposition
Meanwhile, Venezuelans face starvation and sickness following the total economic collapse of the country’s Socialist system. Government control of businesses, and its complete failure to provide food and medical supplies to the people “has led to Venezuelans killing flamingos, anteaters, and even zoo animals for food in a desperate search for protein,” said Forbes, adding that “Food shortages have resulted in the average daily caloric intake dropping to well below 2,000 calories per day.”
Inmates at Auschwitz were given about 1400 calories a day worth of food.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady, writing in the Wall Street Journal, revealed today that “the Maduro regime is using its control of food to stamp out protests.”
Hyperinflation has shriveled household budgets and the government has taken over food production and distribution. Most damning is evidence that access to government rations has become conditional on Maduro’s good favor.
Outside the country many are asking why the popular rebellion, which was significant in July, has gone quiet. The answer may be in the government’s skillful use of hunger as much as imprisonment to quash dissent.
Maritza Landaeta, coordinator of the Caracas-based nonprofit Bengoa, which has worked to aid Venezuelans in food and nutritional needs since 2000 … shared the grim reality facing many mothers: “They say their children cry all day and they can only give them water. They are dying.”
She told the Wall St. Journal that “food is used as a political weapon.”
Food rations “are not enough to live on,” O’Grady writes, “but make a big difference to families. To receive [them], Venezuelans must carry … a government-issued license only available to those approved by the regime.”
In keeping with traditional American compassion, and to begin reasserting dominance over our hemisphere, the president should authorize an emergency airlift of food to the Venezuelan people. Venezuela reportedly has a stockpile of 5,000 SA-24 Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS) missiles, also known as the Igla-S. According to the Reuters report, the maximum target altitude is 3500 meters. Another source puts the altitude max at 6000 meters. Even 7000 meters is just under 23,000 feet. The B-2 stealth bomber can reach altitudes of 50,000 feet and carry 40,000 pounds of payload. It has a range of 6,000 nautical miles without need to refuel, according to Scout.com, which also reports that:
“The B-2 flew from Missouri [where the B-2s are based] all the way to an island off the coast of India called Diego Garcia – before launching bombing missions over Afghanistan.
Pre-operation secrecy would be essential. It should be remembered that a number of far-left members of Congress sympathize with the dictatorship.
Making this bold move could not only save thousands from dying of starvation, it would help the Venezuelan opposition survive. This could one day give us a friendly government to deal with in Venezuela. It would also restore the Monroe Doctrine, by demonstrating that a Socialist government cannot with impunity starve his people to death 1200 miles from Washington, DC.
There is ample precedent for such action. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt announced his “Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine”:
Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may…ultimately require intervention …, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.
We would interfere with [other nations] only in the last resort, and then only if it became evident that their inability or unwillingness to do justice at home and abroad had violated the rights of the United States or had invited foreign aggression to the detriment of the entire body of American nations.
Since then, American presidents have responded to foreign threats in our hemisphere by invasion: JFK’s invasion of Cuba, Johnson’s of the Dominican Republic, Reagan’s of Grenada.
Maduro presents a clear and present danger to America, while committing crimes against humanity in our hemisphere. Of course, this would not be an invasion. But it could be a prelude to one.