Home Letter To The Editor Hands Off Venezuela

Hands Off Venezuela


Options for a military intervention in Venezuela may not yet be “fleshed out in detail” but those of us of a certain age who remember other bloody and ultimately costly interventions may recognize some of the telltale signs of an administration ready to flex it’s military muscle – and possibly spend some additional American lives – in order to secure another source of fossil fuel.

While some may view the ongoing street demonstrations and political shift underway as yet another example of a Latin American country in turmoil we might ask ourselves why the United States appears so interested and poised for a move into the region.

Venezuela isn’t merely the latest Latin American country to experience such a meltdown. While our leaders would obviously like to see the country’s current strongman moved aside – the underlying reason for our interest is simply that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world with American companies already on scene and profiting.

While the current administration may posture and pose as champions of democracy in the region, the real endgame appears to lie in the oil-rich sands of the Orinoco, our leaders with a history of utilizing our formidable military power in order to secure similar fields in our past.

Instead of beating the drums of regime change and, perhaps, a bloody cicil war waged in the name of democracy, our leaders may be advised to seek an alternate track – developing alternatives to the fossil fuels that drive them to the type of incursions that have ended so disastrously in the past.

It would be nice to think we are the democracy we pretend to be for a change, instead of the oil company with an army we seem to be.

Larry Stallworth/ Pleasanton


  1. With all due respect to the author, a lot of us prefer to stay focused on our own lives. It’s a healthier, happier way to live. One vote at election time…

    • Yes, Americans are generally unconcerned about the wars we’re fighting all over the globe and the military and political establishments prefer that you do exactly what you have been doing– remaining ignorant of what your country is doing in your name. If you prefer to live in a democracy then you need to be paying attention. This is being done in your name with your tax dollars. Remember Iraq? Three trillion dollars later the region is less stable and in far worse shape than before we intervened. America has no money for its schools or infrastructure– yet spends close to a trillion dollars a year on our bloated military. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s just ignorance.

  2. So stay focused on your own life and good luck with that. I want to hear what people have to say. You’re not suggesting people refrain from expressing their opinion are you?

    • No, of course not. We’re all entitled to our opinions. I’m stating my opinion (that you don’t have to read – or agree with) that politics is very divisive, and it divides the country. A lot of us are sick of it, and we’re entitled to feel that way. Peace…

  3. The writer has every right to express his or her opinion. If others choose to remain silent so be it but that choice should not apply to everyone. I’m interested in hearing what others have to say.

  4. This post is utterly confused. There’s a dictator in power in Venezuela who is going out of his way to make his population miserable; shortage of all basic goods and inflationary spirals that left the currency worthless. Even Maduro’s own people are trying to kill him. This post mentions none of the suffering of the Venezuelan people, but instead suggests that the US should ignore it because it’s all about oil. News flash: Venezuela’s oil refineries were nationalized and taken by the government many years ago (most recently, by the former leader, Chavez). If we wanted their oil, we’d have it by now.

    • I don’t think wanting it and having it are so easily accomplished. Lots of greedy people want it. If you want it and Russia wants it, acquisition becomes more complicated than just starving and tear-gassing Venezuelans into submission. Of course, Russia is probably looking beyond oil. Having missiles in Cuba in the 60’s was its own reward. What a hoot for them!

      • And the US reneged on it’s promise to keep NATO off of Russia’s borders, sold offensive weapons systems to the Ukraine (and elsewhere), and has been actively interfering with Russian elections (and countless other countries) for decades. But we’re special aren’t we? We get to play by one set of rules that we expect everybody else to follow, but when they do the same, they’re called out as evil villains. The hypocrisy is stunning. I wonder what the US would do if Russia deployed offensive weapons systems on the Mexican border? BTW, how many of the last 500 years did the Crimean peninsula belong to the Ukrainians before being re-annexed to Russia (by a referendum vote where 80-90% of Crimean resident voted to leave BTW)?

        • The nuclear weapons placed atop missiles in Cuba by Russians were offensive, and most of us of a certain age know what the US response was in 1962. Kennedy made a secret deal where both sides saved face and the standoff was de-escalated. Our current president loves Putin. McConnell loves Trump’s power. They would be powerless to oppose Russian weapons on the Mexican border. What could they do but cower from fear of being exposed?

    • Nope. Wrong. Their President was elected with a solid majority of the vote. That’s called democracy– whether or not you like the leader. If you’re concerned about the welfare of the Venezuelan people then you should not be supporting US sanctions– as they punish the innocent and do very little else. The US rarely meets a Latin American coup that it doesn’t love– and surprise surprise– we usually side the coup plotters and the dictators. Even a coursery reading of recent US history makes that painfully obvious.

      • Vietnam, Iran, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Serbia come to mind… and then there was that messy little affair at the Bay of Pigs.

        • Democracy is in the eye of the beholder. For example, Clinton got several million more votes than Trump. You can be sure Trump has asked Barr to “lock her up”. Barr couldn’t give a straight answer when asked directly about Trump’s tampering with the DOJ.

          B a n a n a r e p u b l i c, but it’s not the shirts that are for sale.

  5. Don’t cry for me Venezuela.

    Come, mister tally man, tally me banana
    Daylight come and me wan’ go home
    Come, mister tally man, tally me banana
    Daylight come and me wan’ go home

    Aaah! We are stepping back in time. The best of times, the worst of times. Colonial times. Imperial times.

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