John R. Houk
© April 6, 2019
Nations recognizing presidential power (Maduro vs Guaidó) during the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis as of 28 February 2019:
Conservatives enjoy using the example of Venezuela as an example of the failures of Socialism as the dominant political doctrine of a nation. But there is more than Socialism to add to Venezuela’s failure.
Not long ago Venezuela had a Presidential election in which Nicolás Maduro (Moros) – who succeeded Hugo Chavez upon his death – fraudulently won. Venezuela’s Nationally Assembly chose Juan Guaidó (full name: Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez) as interim President.
Most nations sided with Guaidó over Maduro but Maduro had the Venezuelan military behind him. And now the power of former Communist Russia is behind Maduro and sending military personnel to Venezuela. European powers sending their military to the North and South American continents has never set well with the U.S. government since official policy every American should have learned in some form of civics class – The Monroe Doctrine first voiced in 1823.
In case you missed that class or are victimized by America’s current Leftist education system, here is a roughly 6-minute Youtube primer:
Posted by The Audiopedia
Published on Feb 22, 2017
The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.
President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the end of the 19th century, Monroe’s declaration was seen as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would … READ THE REST
For greater detail on the emergence of the Monroe Doctrine, its historical application and eventual Latin American resentment:
America currently is fairly split between the GOP and Dems still under the influence of the Obama make-America-weak-again (MAWA treason) doctrine. MAWA links:
- Obama’s National Security Strategy Is Weak and Underwhelming; By Nile Gardiner; The Daily Signal; 2/6/15
- Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama’s Grand Strategy Weakened America; By Debra Tash; Citizens Journal; 5/26/16
Yup, you would be correct. I blame Barack Hussein Obama for Russia having the cojones to send anything military to the Socialist-Marxist Nicolás Maduro the dictator of Venezuela.
Below is an Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analysis looking at Russia propping up the Maduro dictatorship seeing if President Trump will continue the Monroe Doctrine.
Your generosity is always appreciated:
Russia in Review: March 26 – April 4, 2019
By Darina Regio and Michaela Walker
April 5, 2019 2:06 PM
Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government’s objectives and its efforts to secure them. Receive future Russia in Review INTSUM products via-email by signing up for the ISW mailing list.
Reporting Period: March 26 – April 4, 2019 (read the previous Russia in Review here)
Authors: Darina Regio and Michaela Walker
Key Takeaway: Russia intensified its military support and extended its economic lifeline to the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela. The Kremlin is reinforcing Maduro to protect Russian investments in Venezuela and confront the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, NATO is responding to Russia’s reinforced military posture in Eastern Europe.
The Kremlin is reinforcing Nicolas Maduro’s regime to contest the U.S. in South America and protect Russia’s investments in Venezuela. Russia has doubled down on its long-standing support of Maduro after Venezuela’s National Assembly, the official legislative body, declared Maduro’s rule to be illegitimate on account of a sham election in 2018. The National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself Interim President of Venezuela on constitutional grounds on January 23, 2019. The U.S. and more than 50 other countries have recognized the decision. The Kremlin has condemned the transition as “colonial” and “aggressive.” The Kremlin has blocked measures against Maduro in the UN Security Council and lauded Russia’s “strategic partnership” with Venezuela.
Russia has intensified its effort to secure the regime in Venezuela militarily. Venezuelan officials stated on April 4 that they do not rule out the possibility of additional Russian military personnel arriving in Venezuela. The Kremlin deployed 100 military advisors, including cybersecurity specialists, led by Russian Ground Forces Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Vasily Tonkoshkurov to Venezuela on March 23. U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams stated that one of the force’s tasks is to repair Venezuela’s S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (SAMS). The advisors are also likely tasked with reinforcing Maduro’s security. Russia also reportedly deployed 400 contractors from the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group to Venezuela in January 2019 to provide support and physical protection to Maduro. Russia has relied on the Wagner Group to support its operations in Syria, Ukraine, and Africa. The Kremlin cannot afford to project significant military power into South America and is using limited tools, such as PMC and military advisors, to achieve its objectives.
The force marked the latest escalation in the military assistance provided to Maduro by the Kremlin. Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez inaugurated a helicopter flight simulator in Venezuela built in cooperation with Rosoboron export on March 29. Lopez noted that Venezuela and Russia would open a similar flight simulator for Russian Su-30MK2 ‘Flanker-C’ fighter jets as well as a factory to produce AK-103 Kalashnikovs by late 2019. The plant is part of a long-delayed deal signed in 2006. Russia also dispatched two nuclear-capable Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ strategic bombers to Venezuela in December 2018. Russia has sold at least $4 billion worth of military equipment to Venezuela since 2006, including 5,000 Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS), 23 Su-30MK2 ‘Flanker-Cs’, 10 Mi-35M ‘Hind-E’ attack helicopters, and at least three S-300VM SAMS.
The Kremlin is also economically entrenched in Venezuela. Russia maintains large investments in Venezuela, particularly in the oil, gold mining, and military industrial sectors. The Government of Russia and Rosneft have lent Venezuela at least $17 billion since 2006.Maduro most recently secured a $6 billion investment package in the oil and mining sectors after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2018. The deal occurred despite tensions between Rosneft and Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) regarding faltering debt payments by Venezuela. Russia is a key exporter of wheat to Venezuela. The Kremlin has also been working on a revival plan for Venezuela’s economy and proposed an informal draft for Maduro’s consideration in January 2019, shortly before the Maduro was faced with the opposition challenge.
The Kremlin is providing other economic lifelines to mitigate international sanctions against Maduro. Russia reportedly converted 30 tons of gold stored on behalf of Venezuela into $1.2 billion in cash for Maduro in January 2019. PDVSA moved its regional headquarters from Lisbon to Moscow in March 2019 and opened a bank account in Gazprom bank in Russia in February 2019 to circumvent European sanctions. Rosneft has also stepped in to support oil production in Venezuela, providing valuable chemical thinners to dilute its heavy crude oil and tankers to ship the resulting product to refineries in India.
The Kremlin aids Maduro in pursuit of Putin’s larger objectives, including the end of American hegemony and asserting Russia as a global power to be reckoned with. The Kremlin intends to prevent what it frames as an American attempt to overthrow Maduro’s regime. Putin has a strong aversion to forced regime change – regardless of the circumstances – given his concerns about preserving his own regime. The Kremlin likely also views the preservation of Maduro’s regime as a potential long-term vector for influence in the Western Hemisphere. Russia engaged in a similar calculus with its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that Venezuela would not become “another Syria” for Russia, and the Kremlin will likely use various means at a reasonable cost to ensure that Maduro’s regime stays in power.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to reinforce its military posture in the European theater while portraying the U.S. as a disruptor of the international balance. The Kremlin is deploying anti-access, area-denial (A2AD) systems in the European part of Russia and holding sporadic military drills near NATO borders. The Russian Western Military District held an unannounced air defense exercise across five different regions bordering several NATO members on March 19. The drills included more than 1,000 troops, 30 aircraft, and 20 S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. Russia’s 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division later held a major exercise involving 1,500 troops and 300 military vehicles on the occupied Crimean Peninsula on March 25. Russia previously deployed additional S-400 SAMS to Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on February 8, Leningrad Oblast near St. Petersburg on March 12, and Kaliningrad Oblast between the Baltics and Poland on March 15. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on February 4, 2019, that Russia will develop a land-based version of the naval intermediate-range Kalibr cruise missile and land-based launchers for hypersonic short- to medium-range missiles in response to the U.S. notice that it will withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in light of Russia’s long-standing non-compliance. Putin stated that Russia would deploy intermediate- or short-range missiles only in response to similar U.S. deployments.The Kremlin conducts sporadic military drills in order to test responses from NATO and threaten the West’s partners. Russia will continue to call its actions a ‘symmetric’ response to the U.S. in order to justify further deployments on the European border.
NATO is responding to the changing Russian military posture by building up its military capabilities. The U.S. signed defense cooperation agreements with Lithuania on April 2 and with Hungary on April 4. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will increase its naval presence and activity in the Black Sea to protect NATO allies’ security interests. The Permanent Representative of the U.S. to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison emphasized that NATO’s presence was intended to ensure safe passage of Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Strait. Two ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group Two made port calls in Odesa on April 1 the day after Ukraine’s presidential elections, while a third arrived in Poti, Georgia. Stoltenberg also announced that the alliance has committed to constructing a $260 million U.S. military equipment storage facility in Powidz, Poland. Stoltenberg confirmed that this project is intended to “underpin the increased U.S. presence in Poland.” Russia is much less likely to carry out a conventional attack against NATO member states along its borders if it is clear that the U.S. will defend those states militarily and that it can readily do so. NATO member nations should be prepared for an increase in covert Russian operations as a result of a defensive NATO military buildup.
 Doug Stanglin, “U.S. Recognizes Venezuela Opposition Leader Juan Guaido as President; Russia Backs Maduro,” USA Today, January 23, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/01/23/venezuela-juan-guaido-declares-himself-president-amid-protests/2658642002/.
 [“Commentary of the Official Russian Foreign Ministry Representative M. V. Zakharova Regarding the U.S. Line with Respect to Venezuela,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 30, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3595365; [“Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova Media Presser Regarding Accusations of Russian Meddling in Venezuela’s Internal Affairs,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 26, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3591552.
 [“Opening Remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov During Meeting with Venezuelan Executive Vice President Rodrigues, Moscow, March 1, 2019,”] Russian Foreign Ministry, March 1, 2019, http://www.mid(.)ru/ru/maps/ve/-/asset_publisher/xF355DHtiSes/content/id/3550044; Michael Schwirtz, “Russia Blocks Venezuela Measure at U.N, Calling It a U.S. Ploy for Regime Change,” The New York Times, February 28, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/28/world/americas/russia-venezuela-veto-united-nations.html.
 “Venezuelan Deputy Minister Says More Russian Troops Could Arrive – Interfax,” Thomas Reuters Foundation, April 04, 2019, http://news.trust.org//item/20190404095809-d5vel/.
 Matt Spetalnick, “Russian Deployment in Venezuela Includes ‘Cybersecurity Personnel’: U.S. Official,” Reuters, March 26, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russians/russian-deployment-in-venezuela-includes-cybersecurity-personnel-u-s-official-idUSKCN1R72FX.
 “Briefing With Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams,” U.S. Department of State, March 29, 2019, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/03/290780.htm.
 Maria Tsvetkova and Naton Zverev, “Exclusive: Kremlin-linked Contractors Help Guard Venezuela’s Maduro – Sources,” Reuters, January 25, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-exclusive/exclusive-kremlin-linked-contractors-help-guard-venezuelas-maduro-sources-idUSKCN1PJ22M.
 Alec Luhn and Harriet Alexander, “Russia Opens Military Helicopter Training Center in Venezuela,” The Telegraph, April 2, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/02/russia-opens-military-helicopter-training-centre-venezuela/.
 [“Kalashnikov Plant in Venezuela Will Be Finished by End of the Year,”] Interfax, February 18, 2019, https://www.interfax(.)ru/world/651019.
 Tom Phillips, “Venezuela Welcomes Russian Bombers in Show of Support for Maduro,” The Guardian, December 10, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/venezuela-russian-bombers-maduro.
 “SIPRI Arms Transfers Database,” The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, March 11, 2019, https://www.sipri.org/; Girish Gupta, “Exclusive: Venezuela Holds 5,000 Russian Surface-to-Air MANPADS Missiles,” Reuters, May 22, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads/exclusive-venezuela-holds-5000-russian-surface-to-air-manpads-missiles-idUSKBN18I0E9; “Venezuela Allocates $480m to Buy Sukhoi Aircraft from Russia,” Air Force Technology, November 01, 2015, https://www.airforce-technology.com/uncategorised/newsvenezuela-allocates-480m-to-buy-sukhoi-aircraft-from-russia-4708156/; “Upgraded ‘Hinds’ for Venezuela,” Air Forces Monthly, February 15, 2017, https://airforcesmonthly.keypublishing.com/2017/02/15/upgraded-hinds-for-venezuela/; “Venezuela: Military Alert Following the Political Crisis in the Country,” ImageSat International, https://imagesat.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=1677a63fa94548ecae49bf1dae1d26bd.
Anton Troianovski, “Russia Spent Billions to Build Influence in Venezuela. Now it Faces a Bet Gone Bad,” The Washington Post, January 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/01/24/russia-spent-billions-build-influence-venezuela-now-it-faces-bet-gone-bad/?utm_term=.f7b04c1ca198.
 Corina Pons and Luc Cohen, “Venezuela signs oil, gold investment deals with Russia: Maduro,” Reuters, December 06, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-russia/venezuela-signs-oil-gold-investment-deals-with-russia-maduro-idUSKBN1O51WX.
 Alexandra Ulmer and Marianna Parraga, “Exclusive: Rosneft’s Sechin Flies to Venezuela, Rebukes Maduro Over Oil Shipments,” November 24, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-venezuela-exclusive/exclusive-rosnefts-sechin-flies-to-venezuela-rebukes-maduro-over-oil-shipments-idUSKCN1NT0TJ; Polina Devitt, “Russia Helping Venezuela with Wheat Supplies, Says Foreign Minister,” March 01, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-wheat-idUSKCN1QI4EC.
 “Russia Offers Venezuela Plan on Revitalizing Economy – Deputy Finance Minister,” Sputnik, January 15, 2019, https://sputniknews(.)com/latam/201901151071490301-russia-venezuela-economy/.
 Irek Murtazin, [“Golden Flight,”] Novaya Gazeta, January 31, 2019, https://www.novayagazeta(.)ru/articles/2019/01/31/79378-zolotoy-reys; [“Another Mysterious Nordwind Airlines Flight Flew from Moscow to Venezuela, and Then to Africa,”] Novaya Gazeta, March 4, 2019, https://www.novayagazeta(.)ru/news/2019/03/04/149712-iz-moskvy-v-venesuelu-a-zatem-v-afriku-letal-esche-odin-zagadochnyy-reys-nordwind-airlines.
 Polina Ivanova and Maria Tsvetkova, “Venezuela to Move State Oil Firm PDVSA Office from Lisbon to Moscow,” Reuters, March 01, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-russia-pdvsa/venezuela-to-move-state-oil-firm-pdvsa-office-from-lisbon-to-moscow-idUSKCN1QI4BM; Corina Pons and Marianna Parraga, “Exclusive: Venezuela Shifts Oil Ventures’ Accounts to Russian Bank – Document, Sources,” Reuters, February 09, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-pdvsa-banks-exclus/exclusive-venezuela-shifts-oil-ventures-accounts-to-russian-bank-document-sources-idUSKCN1PY0N3.
 Mariana Zuñiga, Anthony Faiola and Anton Troianovski, “Mariana Zuñiga, Anthony Faiola and Anton Troianovski,” The Washington Post, March 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/as-maduro-confronts-a-crisis-russias-footprint-in-venezuela-grows/2019/03/29/fcf93cec-50b3-11e9-bdb7-44f948cc0605_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.82716599f2c8.
 “We Won’t Allow a Color Revolution in Venezuela, Moscow Says,” The Moscow Times, February 15, 2019, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/02/15/we-wont-allow-a-color-revolution-in-venezuela-moscow-says-a64509.
 [“Sergei Lavrov: Ukraine “Added Heat” in the Efforts of the United States to Punish Russia,”] Moskovskij Komsomolets, April 03, 2019, https://www.mk(.)ru/politics/2019/04/03/sergey-lavrov-ukraina-dobavila-zharu-v-staraniya-ssha-nakazat-rossiyu.html.
 [“More Than 30 Airplanes and About 20 Units of the S-300PM Air Defense Missile Systems of the Western Military District Involved in Exercise in 6 Russian Regions,”] Russian Defense Ministry, March 19, 2019, https://structure.mil(.)ru/structure/okruga/west/news/more.htm?id=12222184; “Russian S-300 Missile Systems Destroy Notional Enemy’s Aircraft in Drills,” TASS, March 19, 2019, http://tass(.)com/defense/1049302.
 Illia Ponomarenko, “Russian Airborne Forces Hold Large Offensive Drills in Occupied Crimea,” Kyiv Post, March 25, 2019, https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/russian-airborne-forces-hold-large-offensive-drills-in-occupied-crimea.html.
 Yulia Krimova, “S-400 Exercises to Protect Crimea from Airborne Attack Began,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, February 8, 2019, https://rg(.)ru/2019/02/08/reg-ufo/s-400-pristupili-k-ucheniiam-po-zashchite-kryma-ot-vozdushnyh-atak.html; “Regimental Set of S-400 Air Defense Systems Enters Duty in Russia’s West,” TASS, March 15, 2019, http://tass(.)com/defense/1048805; “New S-400 Unit of the Western Military District Began Their Military Service in Leningrad Oblast,” TASS, March 12, 2019, https://tass(.)ru/armiya-i-opk/6208057.
 “Meeting with Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu,” The Kremlin, February 2, 2019, http://en.kremlin((.))ru/events/president/news/59763.
 Sebastian Sprenger, “Lithuania is First Baltic Nation to Sign US Defense-Cooperation Pact,” Defense News, April 04, 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/04/03/lithuania-is-first-baltic-nation-to-sign-us-defense-cooperation-pact/; “United States and Hungary Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement,” U.S. Department of State, April 04, 2019, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/04/290921.htm; “United States, Lithuania Sign Defense Cooperation Plan,” U.S. Department of Defense, April 02, 2019, https://dod.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1803624/united-states-lithuania-sign-defense-cooperation-plan/.
 “Stoltenberg: NATO Coordinates Efforts to Support Ukraine in Black Sea,” Ukrinform, April 05, 2019, https://www.ukrinform(.)net/rubric-defense/2674814-stoltenberg-nato-coordinates-efforts-to-support-ukraine-in-black-sea.html; “NATO to Deter Russia in Black Sea with Heightened Surveillance, U.S. Says,” The Moscow Times, April 03, 2019, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/03/nato-to-deter-russia-in-black-sea-with-heightened-surveillance-us-says-a65067.
 “NATO Ships Visit Odesa,” NATO Allied Maritime Command, April 01, 2019, https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2019/nato-ships-visit-odesa.aspx; “SNMG2 Visits Georgian Port of Poti,” NATO Allied Maritime Command, April 01, 2019, https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2019/snmg2-visits-georgian-port-of-poti.aspx.
 James Marson, “NATO Plans Facility in Poland to Store U.S. Military Equipment,” The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-plans-facility-in-poland-to-store-u-s-military-equipment-11553271255.
Monroe Doctrine, Venezuela & Russia
John R. Houk
© April 6, 2019
Russia in Review: March 26 – April 4, 2019
2018 Institute for the Study of War- www.understandingwar.org
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