Updated May 7, 2019.
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 and reflexively 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 establishing intermediate-range missile launch pads on the Paraguaná Peninsula. It was reported by the Jerusalem Post six years ago that the Iranians had already accomplished this; Obama, of course, did nothing. The project had been on hold during talks over The ill-fated Iran deal, but we have no way of knowing if it has been resurrected.
We have to remember that the Peninsula is only 1200 air miles from the U.S.—putting Washington DC well within range.
To give you an idea of Maduro’s mindset vis à vis Iran, he had appointed one, Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah, Vice President of Venezuela; Maddah served until June of 2018; he is now Venezuela’s Minister of Industries and National Production.
He is believed by American intelligence to have close ties with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. He’s also accused of being a drug trafficker. According to The NY Times, “Mr. El Aissami [is] involved in narcotics rackets from Colombia to Mexico.”
Hezbollah has deep roots in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela, which has facilitated Hezbollah’s activities with passports on demand for extremists. The country is now a second Mecca for these types.
Secretary of State Pompeo warned in 2017:
“The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there. This is something that has a risk of getting to a very, very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”
Iran has thoroughly infiltrated the Venezuelan government, and Iranians and Cubans are manning the colectivos that are beating protestors to a pulp.
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.
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.
What our president should do
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.
Restoring the Monroe Doctrine
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 its 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. Any attempt to fire upon our aircraft attempting to stop The genocide of The Venezuelan people would be ample justification for military action.
there is absolutely no reason why we could not and should not use our military to prevent a vicious Socialist dictatorship from murdering its own people. Is this any different from President Clinton’s war on Yugoslavia in the ‘90s to stop its Socialist president Milsovic’s genocide? This crisis—more than twice as far from Washington DC than Venezuela—presented no threat to America, unlike Venezuela.