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Westlake Legal Group > Venezuela

Biden wants special status to allow Venezuelans to come to America

Westlake Legal Group Venezuelan-protesters Biden wants special status to allow Venezuelans to come to America Venezuela The Blog refugees Joe Biden asylum

Clearly, Joe Biden isn’t taking any states for granted, either in the primary or the general election. (Assuming he clings to his lead and secures the nomination.) One state with a buttload of DNC delegates and critical electoral college votes is Florida. Crazy Uncle Joe was down there this weekend trying to shore up his support in the Hispanic community by touring the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.

Normally you’d expect a candidate addressing Little Havana’s residents to be talking about our policies regarding Cuba, but Biden had his eyes cast further south than that. He proposed that we open the doors to the people of Venezuela who are fleeing starvation and oppression under their dictator, Nicolas Maduro. (CBS Miami)

“We need to grant temporary status for Venezuelans to come here now. It’s not an argument,” he said.

It’s a topic that impacts families in our area. Biden also mentioned a multi-million dollar financial package he was working on toward the end of the Obama Administration to help Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

“On the condition that you deal with the corruption of your society,” Biden said.

On the surface, it’s easy to see why Biden’s Venezuela proposal would generate some sympathy, particularly in the Hispanic community. Americans have been sending donations to provide relief for the suffering citizens of Venezuela for years now. The conditions there are horrible and the collapse of their socialist system has effectively turned what was once the most prosperous nation in South America into a third world country.

But before we open our hearts (and our doors) to Maduro’s victims, we should ask Joe Biden exactly how he plans to accommodate all those in seek of shelter. As of June, it was estimated that more than four million people had fled Venezuela and are currently displaced. Once the word gets around that America has hung out the vacancy sign, that could turn into an extremely popular option.

If only a quarter of the refugees decided to head for our shores, that would be a million new arrivals in a short period of time. We’re already looking at cutting the number of asylum seekers and legal immigrants we take in because the system is overwhelmed. What are we going to do with a million new Venezuelan refugees?

And it’s not just a question of volume. While I’m sure most Venezuelan refugees are good people simply looking for relief, it’s long been known that the country has been heavily infiltrated with members of drug cartels from other regions, as well as fighters arriving from Cuba and even al Qaeda. Even if we could make room for them, somebody is going to have to vet them all. This was an easy idea for Biden to toss out as an applause line, but the realities would be far more complicated.

Biden also took a moment to suggest that he wanted a comprehensive aid package for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. These countries are the source of a large number of migrants showing up at our southern border and stabilizing those governments might decrease the human tide heading north. But they are also notoriously corrupt and dangerous countries. Throwing money at the problem without evidence that they’ve reformed their ways would probably just wind up enriching the drug cartels.

In short, Joe Biden is pandering for the Hispanic vote in Florida. But his plans, well-intentioned as they might be, have significant shortcomings. Voters should demand more details from Biden rather than simple bumper sticker slogans.

The post Biden wants special status to allow Venezuelans to come to America appeared first on Hot Air.

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Sanders: Hey, I’m not one of those Venezuela kind of socialists

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One exchange in last night’s Democratic debates gave us a preview of what some of the more radically left-leaning candidates will face if they make it to the general election. The most famous socialist in the field, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, wound up having to try to explain why his brand of “democratic” socialism wasn’t the same as what they have in Venezuela. This forced Sanders to slam Venezuela’s tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, and assure everyone that he certainly wouldn’t wind up ruling like a dictator. (National Review)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said during Thursday night’s primary debate that his brand of democratic socialism has nothing to do with Venezuela’s socialism, calling Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro a “vicious tyrant.”

“Anybody that does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” Sanders said in response to ABC moderator Jorge Ramos. “What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make, can create their own future.”

“In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair,” the Vermont Independent said. “I agree with [what] goes on in Canada and Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right. I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on earth not to provide paid family and medical leave.”

Awww… Bernie thinks it’s unfair. If Sanders does somehow win the nomination (a prospect that’s looking less and less likely), he’s going to face this question at every turn. The history of socialism is rife with stories that eventually end in oppression, decay and death. Sanders pulled the usual move, referencing “socialist lite” countries like Canada and Scandanavia, but that doesn’t carry much weight.

The fact is that you can’t exercise the amount of government control over people’s lives that Sanders proposes without many of their fundamental freedoms being eroded or eliminated. Also, a “little bit of socialism” is like being a little bit pregnant. It tends to swell as it goes.

As far as his Medicare for All plan goes, when everyone supposedly gets “free” healthcare, as Sanders proposes, the quality and availability of such care go downhill. The average wait time to see a doctor in Canada last year was 19.8 weeks. That’s almost five months. And it varies from province to province. In New Brunswick, the average wait time was 45.1 weeks. Do you really think you can wait almost a year to see your doctor?

Also, some of the more successful socialist countries, like Norway, only get away with their current model by having the government control all of their natural resources, such as oil. And they impose massive taxes on any private companies that want to extract any resources. If you look at the list of nations that currently have a socialist party as their governing group, you will see many examples of faltering or ruined economies, though few are as bad as Venezuela right now.

Most socialist nations limit the basic rights of citizens and we’re talking about a lot more than just the Second Amendment. You can have your speech repressed in many countries if you dare to speak out against the government. And get ready for state-run news media. (Ours may be a mess at times, but it’s a lot worse when the government controls the newspapers and television stations.)

The point is, the road to socialism, much like Hell, is paved with good intentions. But the more power you take away from individual citizens and place in the hands of the government, the more the government will tend to exercise that power and limit your rights. Good luck explaining that in the general election, Bernie. You’re going to need it. This is still America, at least for the time being.

The post Sanders: Hey, I’m not one of those Venezuela kind of socialists appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump Tells Reporters Bolton Was A ‘Disaster’ On North Korea And ‘Out Of Line’ On Venezuela

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President Donald Trump told reporters gathered at the White House Wednesday that now-ousted National Security Adviser John Bolton was a ‘disaster’ on policy related to North Korea, stepped out of line when it came to Venezuela, and had trouble getting along with other administration officials Trump considered invaluable.

Trump was particularly annoyed with Bolton for offending Kim Jong Un with a suggestion that the North Korean leader follow a “Libyan model” of negotiation by turning over his nukes.

“We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model … what a disaster,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“He’s using that to make a deal with North Korea? And I don’t blame Kim Jong Un for what he said after that, and he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart to say something like that.”

Trump also expressed frustration with the fact that Nicolas Maduro continues to hold on in Venezuela and wasn’t responding to the sanctions and pressure strategy the U.S. was employing. Bolton was said to be a major purveyor of that strategy.

Bolton was also said to be a hard liner when it came to Iran and some reports are indicating Trump is “flirting” with lifting sanctions on Iran or backing a French plan to pay them to come back into compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal.

The post Trump Tells Reporters Bolton Was A ‘Disaster’ On North Korea And ‘Out Of Line’ On Venezuela appeared first on RedState.

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Five Policy Clashes Between John Bolton and President Trump

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday fired his third national security adviser, John R. Bolton, as their positions on major foreign policy issues clashed, most recently on pursuing a peace plan with the Taliban.

The two men have regularly been at odds over how to take on major foreign policy challenges facing the United States. Mr. Bolton, a longtime national security hawk, held some views that contrasted with Mr. Trump’s, favoring sanctions and pre-emptive military action against some countries even as the president pursued diplomacy.

And on Tuesday, the two men also disagreed on the circumstances of Mr. Bolton’s ouster.

In a midday Twitter post, just 90 minutes before Mr. Bolton was scheduled to join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a briefing for reporters, Mr. Trump wrote that, on Monday night, he asked Mr. Bolton to submit his resignation and that Mr. Bolton complied Tuesday morning. But responding to a question from The New York Times via text, Mr. Bolton said he had offered Mr. Trump his resignation “last night without his asking,” and submitted it in the morning.

Here are five countries that prompted policy disagreements between Mr. Trump, who has been reluctant to expand military America’s footprint abroad, and Mr. Bolton during his 17 months in the post.

Most recently, Mr. Bolton was the leading voice against negotiating a peace plan with the Taliban — an idea supported by Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo with the goal of removing American troops from Afghanistan after almost 18 years of war. Mr. Trump went so far as to schedule negotiations to take place at Camp David over Labor Day weekend.

Mr. Bolton had argued that the United States could withdraw some troops from Afghanistan — and keep one of the president’s campaign promises — without making a pact with members of a terrorist group.

Mr. Trump ultimately canceled the meeting, but aides in support of the negotiations blamed Mr. Bolton for public leaks about his opposition.

Mr. Trump views one of his major foreign policy achievements to be the melting of tensions between the United States and North Korea. While Mr. Trump has repeatedly said he was “not happy” that North Korea chose to conduct weapons tests in May, he has played down their significance and said that the tests did not distill his optimism that the two countries could continue negotiations over American sanctions and the North’s denuclearization efforts.

But Mr. Bolton saw no gray area in those tests and declared that they violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

After Mr. Trump became the first sitting American president to set foot in North Korea when he met with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in June, Mr. Bolton reacted angrily to a New York Times report about a possible agreement in which the United States would make concessions in exchange for North Korea freezing its nuclear activity. Mr. Bolton had long argued that North Korea should dismantle its entire nuclear program before getting any reward. But others in the administration, including the president, were open to considering a step-by-step process.

Video

Westlake Legal Group bolton-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v10 Five Policy Clashes Between John Bolton and President Trump Venezuela United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Russia North Korea Iran International Relations Embargoes and Sanctions Defense and Military Forces Bolton, John R Afghanistan

Tensions between the United States and Iran have sharply increased. John Bolton, the national security adviser, has long pushed for regime change in Iran. One of his chosen replacements is the dissident group Mujahedeen Khalq, known as M.E.K.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Long before he was Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Mr. Bolton had advocated military action against Iran. Mr. Trump has recently focused on a diplomatic approach to Iran, saying he was willing to meet with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran under the right circumstances. The meeting would be the first of its kind since the Tehran hostage crisis that began in 1979 and ended in 1981.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bolton did agree on one major policy decision: withdrawing the United States from the Obama-era nuclear deal in May 2018. Tensions between the two countries have risen due to that decision and the crippling sanctions the United States reimposed on Iran. In June of this year, the president rejected a plan by his advisers, led by Mr. Bolton, to retaliate with military action after Iran shot down an American surveillance drone, saying that such an attack would have been disproportionate.

After the United States and allied countries declared that President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian government was illegitimate and threw their support behind the opposition movement led by Juan Guaidó, Mr. Trump grew frustrated that the efforts to push out Mr. Maduro had not met with immediate success.

The Trump administration learned it had less influence in the region than anticipated, leaving the White House-backed opposition in a stalemate with the Maduro government for months. Mr. Trump has questioned his administration’s strategy there, while Mr. Bolton continued to push for more pressure from the United States, and in August said, “now is the time for action.”

As recently as last month, Mr. Bolton assured Ukranians that they would receive support in their conflict with Russian separatists, but the White House has done little to show it backs that promise. In recent days, the White House has delayed a military assistance package for the Ukranian government. And Mr. Trump has privately told aides that he considers Ukraine to have a corrupt government.

Mr. Bolton has also confronted Russia over its election interference, a notoriously touchy subject for Mr. Trump, who sees discussion of it as undermining his legitimacy.

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Venezuelan president extorting his own people to gin up Trump opposition

Westlake Legal Group Maduro-constitution Venezuelan president extorting his own people to gin up Trump opposition Venezuela The Blog starvation petition Nicolas Maduro NATO Juan Guaido

Since we haven’t checked in on the collapsed nation of Venezuela for a little while we might as well take a look at the humanitarian aid situation. As you likely know, the people of that country have been facing starvation conditions for months on end, as well as being lacking in potable water and basic medical supplies. Fortunately, some aid has been arriving but almost all of it is immediately confiscated by the government so they can distribute it themselves. Good news, right?

Well… yes and no. There are food relief boxes being given out (known as CLAP boxes) to some of the hungry people, but there’s a catch. If you want to get one from the local brute squad, you are first required to sign a petition denouncing the United States and Donald Trump, specifically denouncing sanctions on the nation. It’s part of the government’s “No More Trump” campaign. And if you don’t sign, you don’t get the food. (from Agence France Press)

The Maduro government has been gathering signatures among Venezuelans as part of its “No More Trump” campaign…

But the opposition says that the Maduro government has gathered the signatures through extortion over desperately needed nutritional assistance. Videos recently posted by the citizen journalism site Reporte Ya and elsewhere showed what appeared to be Venezuelans refusing orders to sign in exchange for receiving the aid, known locally as a CLAP box.

“If you don’t sign against Trump and sanctions, there won’t be any CLAP food boxes,” a municipal woman is quoted as saying by La Patilla, a prominent news site close to the opposition.

The US State Department described Maduro’s effort as a “starvation petition” and said it was evidence that he could not win a fair election.

The fact that the dictator of the nation is forcing starving people to sign a petition in order to receive food doesn’t exactly instill one with a lot of confidence as to the sincerity of the people opposing the United States. But then again, that tends to fit in well with the usual maneuvers of a socialist dictator, so there you go.

But why bother collecting petition signatures in the first place? As it turns out, the annual UN General Assembly is coming up later this month. There have been rumors that Maduro plans to attend and if so, he would like to present the petition to the United Nations and ask them to intervene on his behalf. Considering the number of UN nations that have already recognized Juan Guaido as interim president, his prospects probably aren’t great.

But this scenario does bring up another fascinating if unlikely possibility. Let’s just say that Maduro does travel to the UN General Assembly. He will be coming to New York City. I’m sure you’re already guessing what I’m about to suggest and saying I’m crazy, but hear me out. All of the dignitaries traveling to the UN for these events are supposed to be essentially untouchable. I get that. But the United States, along with most of the world, no longer recognizes Maduro as the President of his country. We’ve formally recognized Guaido

If Maduro isn’t the President, he isn’t the official representative with a seat at the conference. In fact, he holds no official position at all. He’s just some guy from Venezuela riding through Manhattan in a limo who probably has a list of war crimes as long as your arm trailing behind him. What would happen if the FBI, CIA or some other agency just pulled his car over for a “traffic infraction,” threw a bag over his head and shipped him off a secure holding facility?

Yes, yes… you’re right. It would probably start a war, so we probably shouldn’t do it. But if nothing else, it would make for the plot of a great Tom Clancy novel.

The post Venezuelan president extorting his own people to gin up Trump opposition appeared first on Hot Air.

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The UN Is About to Elect Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro to the UN Human Rights Council Because of Course They Are

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UNASUR Summit by Cancillería del Ecuador, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

No, this is not some kind of parody article.

Several UN watchdogs are reporting that Venezuela is almost certain to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. That’d be the same Venezuela that has death squads and has carried out thousands of extra-judicial killings.

You may be wondering how this is possible. It comes down to the fact that there are two spots open for countries from Latin America and Venezuela is one of only two countries running. Instead of abstaining or using some other means to deny them the seat, it’s apparently all but certain the current members will give them the 2/3 vote they need. This isn’t exactly surprising given the myriad of dictatorships and dumpster fire nations that currently inhabit the Human Rights Council.

Here’s more details via the Miami Herald.

And yet, according to YourHRC, UNWatch and other human-rights groups, Venezuela — alongside Brazil — is almost sure to win one of Latin America’s two vacant seats at the Human Right Council at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly session.

The General Assembly elected the 47 members of the Human Rights Council. Candidates need two-thirds of the General Assembly’s votes, or 126 votes, to be elected.

“Right now, Venezuela’s election is almost certain to happen because there are only two seats available for Latin America at the Council — and only two countries are running,” UNWatch director Hillel Neuer told me.

The article’s writer takes some shots at President Trump, claiming that we could do something about this had we not left the Human Rights Council previously over their corruption. That’s nonsense.

Unfortunately, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Council and several other multilateral forums such as the Paris Climate Accord — as well as Trump’s verbal attacks on America’s European allies and his downsizing of the State Department — have severely eroded America’s clout in the diplomatic community around the world.

As a result, America has less influence than ever in recent times to sway African, Asian and European countries to stop Venezuela’s election to the Council.

This is not President Trump’s fault. This is the UN’s fault as an organization. We did the right thing leaving that council in protest. To remain on it would have only provided it legitimacy it absolutely does not deserve. Our clout was already nearly non-existent anyway. The UN Human Rights Council is a garbage dump of tyrannical dictatorships. The fact that a large majority of their members are poised to offer positive support to Maduro only confirms that further.

It’s time for the United States to leave the United Nations altogether. We have no reason left to be there and we have no moral obligation to keep shoveling money into their coffers.

The post The UN Is About to Elect Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro to the UN Human Rights Council Because of Course They Are appeared first on RedState.

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Marxist guerrilla fighters return to war thanks to Venezuela’s Maduro

Westlake Legal Group FARC Marxist guerrilla fighters return to war thanks to Venezuela’s Maduro Venezuela The Blog Nicolas Maduro marxist Hugo Chavez FARC Colombia

Thursday a splinter group of Marxist guerrilla fighters, known as FARC, announced a return to violence despite a peace deal it signed with the government of Colombia in 2016. From NPR:

In a 32-minute YouTube video posted Thursday, more than 20 armed fighters stood in green fatigues and in front of a sign that read, “As long as there is a will to fight there will be hope for victory.”

A guerrilla leader involved in the peace negotiations accused the government of betraying key components of the deal. “The state has not fulfilled its most important obligation, which is to guarantee the life of its citizens and especially avoid assassinations for political reasons,” said Luciano Marin, known widely by his nom de guerre, Iván Márquez…

In the video, which appeared to be filmed in the jungle, Marin said the group planned to work with the National Liberation Army (ELN), another leftist guerrilla army which has resorted to kidnapping, extortion and violence.

Colombia’s president immediately blamed the return to violence on Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro. The government also said the group’s video was filmed inside Venezuela. From the Miami Times:

“Venezuela is becoming South America’s Iran,” Francisco Santos, Colombia’s ambassador to Washington, told me. “Much like Iran uses Hezbollah to destabilize neighboring countries, Venezuela uses terrorist organizations to destabilize its neighbors.”…

Maduro is against the ropes as Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis continues to deteriorate. He may have decided to step up his support for Colombian guerrillas to divert attention from his country’s crisis and weaken his biggest enemy in the neighborhood.

The Venezuelan dictator has often publicly stated his sympathy for Colombia’s leftist guerrillas. In July, he reiterated that fugitive Colombian rebel leaders would be welcome in his country.

The United States has offered amnesty to Maduro, i.e. promising he would not be prosecuted if he simply decided to step down and live out the rest of his life off whatever plundered riches he has amassed. State Department envoy to Venezuela Elliot Abrams was reported by the NY Times to have said, “This is not a persecution. We’re not after him. We want him to have a dignified exit and go.” But it seems Maduro has no intention of leaving.

Helping to fire up guerrilla fighters in Colombia might be Maduro’s way of threatening to drag others down with him. Alternatively, Maduro may also be counting on the US to step in on Colombia’s behalf which would help him sell his claim that the glorious revolution is under attack by US imperialists. Back in 2009, computer files seized from FARC rebels revealed that former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was supporting and protecting the group.

FARC fought the government of Colombia for 52 years in an effort to make the country a socialist paradise like Cuba:

It began in 1964, after the success of the Cuban revolution, with the rebels wanting to forcibly redistribute wealth.

In the more than 50 years since then, the armed group has seized territory, attacked government forces and interfered with political life through high-profile kidnappings. The rebels hijacked a commercial airliner to kidnap a senator in 2002, one of at least three passenger plane hijackings in the early part of the century. One of the group’s most notorious feats was the capture of presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002, who was held deep in the jungle for six years before she was rescued in a Colombian military operation.

FARC also turned to the drug trade, making millions from trafficking in cocaine. It was designated a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

The rebels forced children to become soldiers, training them as guerrillas to lay mines and fight.

As the decades passed, thousands upon thousands of people were killed. Up to 220,000 died in the insurgency and as many as 5 million people were displaced — more than 1 out of every 10 Colombians.

Approximately 2,000 FARC rebels are now returning to that fight. Another 13,000 have said they will continue to abide by the 2016 peace agreement.

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Venezuelans turn to US dollars and gold as the value of Bolivars continues to drop

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This video of Venezuelan garbage men throwing away trash bags of paper money caught my attention today:

The clip is real and that really was Venezuelan money. However, the catch here is that because of hyperinflation the socialist government issued new currency almost exactly one year ago. The new currency, called the Sovereign Bolivar was the same as the old currency with five fewer zeroes. Practically, that meant that people didn’t have to carry large bricks or sacks of paper notes to buy groceries. The amount of cash required for everyday transactions was so burdensome that businesses were weighing money rather than counting it. Once the new currency was introduced, the old currency was declared worthless. So the money in those bags is probably old cash that isn’t legal tender anymore.

I’ve noted before that some parts of Venezuela struggling with hyperinflation have resorted to bartering (see the video in this post), but this recent report from German news outlet Deutsche Welle shows that in the capital city US dollars are now a substitute currency for many people. This must really upset President Maduro who has maintained for years now that Venezuela is the victim of an economic war by the United States. That’s not really true in the way that he means it but if it were this would surely be a sign the US is winning.

But US dollars aren’t the only alternative currency being used in Venezuela. As CNN reported yesterday, gold is another one. Maduro has taken control over gold mines and his family benefits financially. The miners who operate these mines are only allowed to do so by paying off violent gangs who are working with elements of the military that helps keep Maduro in power by helping him to skirt US sanctions.

The post Venezuelans turn to US dollars and gold as the value of Bolivars continues to drop appeared first on Hot Air.

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Confirmed: We’ve been negotiating with Venezuelan socialist party leaders

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Somebody needs a quick update on the definition of “secret.”

Yesterday we talked about an Associated Press report claiming that the United States has been in secret discussions with some of the most senior members of the Venezuelan socialist party. The suggestion was that we were offering some of these thugs assurances that they wouldn’t be prosecuted for anything if they turned their backs on dictator Nicolas Maduro and hastened his exit from office. Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, both Maduro and President Trump are confirming that the story is true. (AP)

President Donald Trump said Tuesday his government is talking to “various representatives” of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who also confirmed that “secret” discussions had been taking place.

In a nationally broadcast appearance hours after Trump spoke, Maduro said that talks had long been underway between high officials in his government and the U.S. administration.

“We’ve had secret meetings in secret places with secret people that nobody knows,” Maduro said, adding that all talks had been carried out under his “direct” authorization. “Sure there’s been contact and we’ll continue having contact.”

Neither Trump nor Maduro is revealing the identities of the people we’ve been talking to, but these admissions strengthen the probability that we’ve been looking to cut a deal with Venezuelan socialist party leader Diosdado “the octopus” Cabello. Handing that guy a get out of jail free card would be a big pill to swallow. As I mentioned yesterday, Cabello is well known as the head of one of the biggest drug cartels in South America and reportedly tried to engineer an assassination attempt on Marco Rubio a few years ago.

Unfortunately, if we’re going to wade into Venezuelan politics, these are the sorts of people we wind up dealing with. But President Trump really wants to see Maduro out of office (along with most of the civilized world), being replaced by Juan Guaido. Unfortunately, Maduro may be somewhat weaker than he was a couple of years ago, but he’s still got a lot of cards left to play. He has the support of Russia, China, Turkey and Iran, with the Russians keeping troops stationed in his country.

I have a bad feeling that the only way Maduro steps aside without somebody sticking a knife in his back is if he’s guaranteed safe passage to a nice beach somewhere and allowed to take a massive amount of the treasure he’s plundered from his own country with him. And the way the international community is acting these days, they might give it to him just to make this problem go away.

The post Confirmed: We’ve been negotiating with Venezuelan socialist party leaders appeared first on Hot Air.

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A Group of Chicago Teachers Union Members Travels to Venezuela & Reports The Shocking Findings: It’s Fantastic!

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The world of politics is a constant reminder that not everyone draws the same conclusions.

So is — incidentally — green bean casserole.

That stuff is nasty.

Anyway, here’s another case in point:

Three Illinois educators and a union organizer recently crowdfunded a trip to that most desirable of vacation destinations, Venezuela.

In response to what they saw, the Chicago Teachers Union crew praised the beleaguered nation on social media.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune Monday, during their South American romp, they met government officials and teachers and visited a commune. They even got local media coverage.

Stuff they admired: the country’s literacy rates, those fabulous communes…and its socialist system.

Not everyone’s psyched about their portrayal.

From the Tribune:

[C]ritics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolás Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

Count teacher and union member Karen Moody among the nay-sayers. Here’s what she had to offer:

“I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour.”

However, union President Jesse Sharkey assured WTTW’s Chicago Tonight that the trip wasn’t sanctioned in any way:

“Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.”

That’s all well and good, but how does he explain the union’s Twitter account retweeting the group’s updates? One blog entry was titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela.”

Here’s a message passed along by the union’s page, courtesy of CTU traveler Sarah Chambers — who’s also a member of the board:

“While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless… This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention.”

They’re fighting!

How about a fight against children prostituting themselves, and straight men working as gay hookers? That’s also happened in Venezuela, thanks to the swell system — see here.

In response to an online critic, Sarah defended her favorable review of the big V by touting her analytical mind:

“Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

One GoFundMe donor saluted the CTU strike at “imperialism”:

“Proud of the CTU for their brave and visionary anti-imperialist resolution and enactment of ‘teacher-to-teacher’ solidarity between Chicago and Venezuelan teachers!”

Speaking to Fight Back! News, Sarah also bragged on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for his stellar job:

“Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”

As pointed out by The Daily Wire, the blog reporting all the glories of a nation that’s struggled to find the radical modernity of toilet paper was named the Radical Educator Collective.

It’s radical alright.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

FBI Arrests Alleged Would-Be Neo-Nazi Terrorist Before He Can Commit Mass Murder At A Las Vegas Synagogue

Hollywood’s Rosanna Arquette Apologizes For Being White. She Announces Her Shame & Disgust Over Her Birth

Brazilian Gang Leader & Drug Trafficker Attempts A Prison Break In One Of The Craziest & Most Hilarious Ways Possible

Find all my RedState work here.

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