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Fri May 24, 2019, 08:47 PM

Russia's dangerous new ploy: US trading Ukraine for Venezuela

Russia is peddling a dangerous new narrative: Washington should trade Ukraine for Venezuela.

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/445488-russias-dangerous-new-ploy-us-trading-ukraine-for-venezuela

This is Moscow’s most recent front in its war against Ukraine. Wolodymyr Zelenskii’s inauguration as Ukraine’s new president has not stopped Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s independence, democracy and integrity. Now it’s playing out in Washington.

The narrative goes that Washington should give Moscow a free hand in Ukraine — in return for Moscow supposedly giving Washington a free hand to unseat Venezuela’s venal and criminal Maduro regime. This narrative also argues that Washington should simply extend the New START Treaty for five years, while resuming arms control talks with Moscow.

The Russian narrative contends that President Trump, believing himself exonerated by the Mueller report, can now freely improve relations with Moscow. Not coincidentally Vladimir Putin shares this narrative. Therefore, Washington should seek to improve these relations and retrieve them from the supposedly dangerous impasse into which they had fallen. Allegedly, only churlish members of the media, unregenerate Russophobes and foreign policy commentators oppose this development.

Unfortunately, this approach is morally indefensible and strategically disastrous. Let us remember that Russia’s armies (including so-called separatists, who are really Moscow’s auxiliaries in Ukraine) invaded the Crimea and the Donbas and committed the most naked aggression since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Putin would also undoubtedly try to leave these “separatist” forces in the Donbass and Crimea to destroy any basis for independent Ukrainian statehood.

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Reply Russia's dangerous new ploy: US trading Ukraine for Venezuela (Original post)
Celerity May 2019 OP
flamingdem May 2019 #1
Celerity May 2019 #2

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 08:56 PM

1. I don't think that Bolton, Pompeo etc can easily pull this off

Their puppet doesn't inspire the masses enough and Maduro has the military on his side, for now anyway.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #1)

Fri May 24, 2019, 09:11 PM

2. Maduro's secret strength: 'Colectivo' paramilitary groups

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/24/americas/venezuela-colectivos-oppman-intl/index.html

Caracas (CNN) Armed conflict between the US and Venezuela may never take place—but Naudy Mendez knows who would come out on top. "To the gringos who say the boots are already in Venezuela, be careful. There are warriors here too willing to give their lives," Mendez declared during a radio show he hosts from Antímano, an impoverished and violence-ridden slum in Caracas.

"We are going to shoot them up. It's no joke. We will rain down lead on them," Mendez told his listeners of the potential US invaders.
Mendez's threats carry no shortage of menace: when he's not on the radio, he heads a colectivo, one of the dozens of armed paramilitary groups that are the only law in many of Venezuela's poorest neighborhoods.

They play a growing role in keeping embattled president Nicolas Maduro in power. His lieutenants are all skinny and appear to be half his age; for the most part, they silently watch their loquacious boss hold court live on air.

Maduro says the colectivos are front line organizers for his socialist revolution. Opposition leaders say the groups are part motorcycle club, part death squad and worry that, as Venezuela's political and economic crisis worsens, no one is reining them in.

Mendez is burly, middle-aged with greying hair and claims he has been shot five times in different conflicts. He wags his finger at the imaginary gringos as he broadcasts from the small radio booth with a large picture of deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez looking down.

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