To those uninitiated into the unprecedented levels of corruption, mismanagement, and dysfunction in today’s Venezuela, it is difficult to explain the sheer level of insanity on display every week by Maduro and his ragtag band of crooks and Communists.
There is Tareck el-Aissami, the Vice President, who is perhaps the most hated man in Venezuela. (That is saying something…el-Aissami makes Diosdado Cabello look like a teddy bear and Nicolas Maduro look like a mere clown by comparison). A noted enthusiast of Middle Eastern terrorist groups, he has cultivated ties with Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. He has sold Venezuelan passports to Syrian and Iranian terrorists to facilitate their international travels.
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But, it gets even better. El-Aissami and former head of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello, are supervising Venezuela’s largest drug trafficking organization, the Cartel of the Suns, which they run in conjunction with the Venezuelan military, allied with Colombia’s FARC and Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. In his free time, Cabello hatches up international hijinks like plotting to murder Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
El-Aissami has shrewdly positioned himself to become arguably the most powerful economic and political figure in the country, rivaling the hapless Maduro and the uninspiring Cabello. His exploits include a sprawling business empire disguised by shell companies, and supervised a curious weekly Tehran-Damascus-Caracas flight which is alleged to have transported terrorists and lethal cargo. He has been accused by the US Treasury of being a prominent Venezuelan drug trafficker.
Apparently Nicolas Maduro and his wife, First Lady Cilia Flores, were unhappy with their more peripheral role in the Cartel of the Suns, and wanted in on the action. To that end, they dispatched their nephews, Efrain Campo Flores and Franky Flores de Freitas, to supervise a massive cocaine shipment. They were arrested by the DEA in Haiti while negotiating the terms of the deal, and have testified in federal court that the proceeds of the cocaine sales were to be used to fund the political campaign of their aunt.
Although the press has routinely described them as the “narconephews” of Maduro and Flores, it would be more accurate to describe them as the adoptive sons of the powerful couple; they have raised them as their own for some time.
It is puzzling that this story has not generated more international news headlines. There is egregious atrocious behavior. And then there is truly revolting behavior: dispatching your adopted children to fundraise for you shipping tons of cocaine surely conforms to the latter. Even with the turbulent history of Latin America over the past 100 years, and a host of undemocratic regimes, it should be sufficiently shocking that in 2017, a head of state of a nation of 30 million people would send his adoptive children on international narcotrafficking missions.
It was a surprise to absolutely no one that this month, Venezuela has defaulted on its debt, leaving it in a supremely unenviable position. But those who think this could emerge as a catalyst for government reform are completely wrong.
The Venezuelan leadership at this point has utterly no regard for the future of the country, and nothing but scorn and contempt for the Venezuelan people. They will do absolutely anything to maintain their political and economic power, regardless of the disastrous and apocalyptic consequences for the Venezuelan people down the road. They are thinking in terms of days and weeks, not months or years.
They have no regard for democracy, and brazenly steal elections. It does seem rather curious, does it not, that the most despised government in the region, which routinely clocks in at around 20% approval, magically won 18 of 23 governorships last month. If Maduro lasts until another reelection bid, he will steal the election, or he will be pushed out by the eminently more despicable El-Aissami.
Well-meaning world leaders are deluded if they believe that there is anything to be gained from negotiating with the Maduro regime. Such negotiations would be about as successful as the Colombian government’s negotiations with Medellin Cartel head Pablo Escobar in the early 1990s. Pope Francis does not appear to understand that these are people who turned a national government into an organized crime empire.
They will never relinquish their complete and total grip on power through democratic means. The only way that Nicolas Maduro leaves his post is in a body bag, or in handcuffs, where he will be awaiting numerous charges of corruption, drug trafficking, and murder.
The mainstream media has paid little attention to the Venezuelan story because it does not fit into their politically correct narrative; it is an inconvenient distraction to the socialist agenda that they would like to push upon the American public. Venezuela is a footnote…an outlier to them.
The real outrage in the world today is that the United States doesn’t have single payer healthcare. The real feelgood narrative of the past election cycle was the rise of Bernie Sanders, who brought refreshing new ideas to the table. And for many in the mainstream media, it would be a case of incredibly poor timing to highlight the depravity and ruin of a socialist economy at precisely the moment when America seems pumped and primed for socialism as never before.
Pope Francis and world leaders are fools if they believe that there is an iota of benefit to be gained from “negotiations” with a regime headed by Maduro, El-Aissami, and Cabello.
They have every motivation in the world to fight until the death to keep a lid on their evil doings over the past two decades, and absolutely no motivation to “bend” or “sway” to international pressure. They don’t give a rat’s ass what the “international community” thinks of them, and are perfectly happy to be despised by pleasant global society and cling on to the few friends they have left: Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Iran, and North Korea.
China and Russia will tolerate the criminal regime for the time being because it is in their interests, but they will keep a safe distance.
In the end, Maduro and friends will fight to the death to keep a complete and total grip on power; they will not relinquish it, they will not share it, they will not negotiate it.
Don’t be deluded into thinking that they will.