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Old 5th November 2017, 02:04 PM   #305
Sherkeu
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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If you dig deeper into this situation, you find that the US decisions against Cuba the last few months all align with the crisis in Venezuela and Cuba's massive influence there.

The situation is at super critical levels now as Venezuela is predicted to default on their loans and the impending economic collapse will ripple through global financial markets. Still, Maduro's Castro-Chavista regime has managed to hang onto power through election fraud and violent crackdowns on protesters (power they lost after being defeated in Dec 2015 elections). Many world leaders have tried diplomacy, with the most promising efforts happening last Nov 2016. All have failed.
95% of Venezuela's hard currency comes from US companies as we have the specialized refineries for their subpar crude. But, like Cuba, the party line is that the evil Imperialists are the source of all their problems. One by one, all the freedoms have been stripped and 1-party power consolidated under the guise of protecting the people (where have we seen this before?). The people in what once was the richest SA country now live in chaos and poverty. It's bizarre to see how it all has unfolded and every hope for a return to democracy was squashed along the way.

As for the specific need to remove the diplomats, I think it was completely retaliatory to limit economic benefits and urge Cuba to make some sort of concession on Venezuela. Leaving also removes the ability to process the travel and immigrant visas. (Castro threatened a 'migrant crisis' if we broke ties, something his older brother had done).
You'll notice that new Venezuela sanctions happened the week before the sonic story. Their allies, Russia (arms-for-oil) and Iran (please-help-raise-oil-prices) also got new sanctions that week. Those last 2 are the best hope for economic rescue - though Venezuela currently looks like a mess only the IMF could afford.

The effects of any covert US operations in Venezuela and Cuba aren't clear.
There is a report of an 'alleged' Venezuelan assassination plot on Rubio in July that may have entered the mix.
Actually, a whole slew of critical events happened between May1-Aug8 that seem to feed right into the 'health attack' issue with Cuba. I'll try to put all the events/dates in summary later.
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