Venezuela has already endured more than 100 hours of a widespread blackout. In Caracas electricity has been restored in some places, but others remain in the dark. Yesterday Caracas residents in the San Agustín district filled water buckets from the streams that flow into the Guaire River. The despair is such that people are forced to collect water from the tributaries of a dangerously polluted river.
In Lídice Venezuelans collected water from a ravine, and in Barquisimeto they bathed in streams and even in sewers. Nicolás Maduro’s response was to send soldiers to prevent people from collecting these polluted waters. He also attacked journalists who tried to cover these events.
Currently there are still several states without power, among them Táchira, Mérida, Portuguesa, Lara, Zulia, Anzoátegui, and Barinas.
Now, in the midst of all this suffering, babies are still dying because there is no electricity in the hospitals, kidney patients are subject to a death sentence, anyone who needs surgery is in jeopardy, people are eating rotten food and drinking filthy, polluted water. Meanwhile, important events are taking place that could be signalling some military movement on the part of the United States in Venezuela.
US supports Guaidó’s intention to stop oil shipments to Cuba
Yesterday, Juan Guaidó, in an extraordinary session in the National Assembly, made an important announcement: “We have requested and decreed no more oil shipments to Cuba.” This decision is supremely important with regard to the impact of Venezuelan oil on the Communist island and for what Cuba means, and specifically Castroism, for the tyranny of Maduro.
What will Cuba do if its supply of Venezuelan oil is cut off? This would represent a blow not only for the Venezuelan tyranny, but also for the Castro dictatorship that has done so much damage to the region by expanding its socialist ideas and repressive methods.
And Guaidó is not alone in this decision. Before the Assembly he also requested “international cooperation” to stop the delivery of Venezuelan oil to Cuba. Only hours later, John Bolton, US security adviser, tweeted the following: “The Venezuelan National Assembly has decreed the suspension of crude exports to Cuba following the collapse of the national electrical grid. Insurance companies and flag carriers that facilitate these give-away shipments to Cuba are now on notice.”
It would be very naive to believe that Guaidó gave this announcement regarding the oil that goes to Cuba without first consulting with the United States. Bolton is paying close attention to the statements of the interim president and that is why he pronounced on the matter, advising those who facilitate the oil shipments that they will face problems with the US government if the shipments continue.
Some analysts believe that shipments of Venezuelan oil to Cuba, could be intercepted by international allies, preventing the arrival of the tankers.
Guaidó opens the door to a military intervention
Yesterday morning an audio recording emerged of Maria Corina Machado, in which the popular opposition leader asks Juan Guaidó, and the National Assembly, to activate Article 187 Number 11 of the Venezuelan Constitution that states the following: “It is the responsibility of the National Assembly to authorize deployment of Venezuelan military for missions abroad, or foreign missions in the country.”
María Corina asks the National Assembly and the president to approve military aid because “in 24 hours it will already be too late for many Venezuelans.”
In the afternoon, Juan Guaidó gave an interview to Fox News and said he would authorize Article 187 of the Constitution to call for foreign military intervention if Maduro prevents the entry of humanitarian aid to alleviate the disaster caused by the blackout.
Pompeo announces withdrawal of all personnel from the US embassy in Venezuela
Yesterday at 11 o’clock at night, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The US will withdraw all the remaining personnel from the embassy this week. This decision reflects the deterioration of the situation in Venezuela, as well as the conclusion that the presence of the diplomatic personnel of the United States in the embassy has become a restriction for the policy of the United States towards Venezuela.”
What does that mean? Does it not send a very clear message to say that having your diplomatic staff has become a restriction for US policy in that country?
The facts and statements given by the US government in the last few hours seem to point to the possibility of military action.