Archive for February, 2019


February 14, 2019

During a February 12, 2019, hearing of the House Committee of Foreign Affairs U.S. special representative for Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, was attacked by Rep. Omar, who has been under fire for anti-Semitic remarks. Taking this background into account it was not surprising that Democrat Omar behaved the way she did

In his testimony Abrams in the opening statement explained that the situation in Venezuela would only become worse if the illegitimate Maduro regime was allowed to remain:

Venezuela has become the most violent country in the world. In large part this is due to poverty and desperation, directly caused by the former Maduro regime’s disastrous mismanagement of the economy and policy of social divisiveness. It is also due to Maduro’s neighborhood gangs— or “colectivos”—who prey on the poor through extortion, kidnapping, and murder, Abrams said.

Hyperinflation, thanks to Maduro’s economic policies, mismanagement, and regime corruption, has spiraled out of control. Within the last month it grew by 220 percent. In total, by the end of 2019, it could reach 10 million percent.

One of the most significant consequences of Maduro’s disastrous economy is food insecurity. Only 30 percent of the protein required in the regular diet of the Venezuelan population is available. Scarcity and high prices have reached critical levels for food processors and grocery markets.

The U.S. Government is doing everything within its power to support that effort. We do this because the restoration of peace, democracy, and prosperity would reunite Venezuela with the democratic community of the hemisphere. It would also refute the false promise of authoritarianism championed by a small number of dysfunctional states, most notably Cuba which has provided direct support for Maduro’s repressive tactics including the recent deployment of its most feared units, the Black Wasps.

Maduro and his cronies are conspiring to prevent…life-saving U.S. assistance from reaching the Venezuelan people….we have effectively levied individual and sectoral sanctions on the former Maduro regime. And they are making a difference.

We have exponentially increased the cost of doing business for the regime in the gold sector, the financial sector, and now the oil sector—the combination of which has created enormous pressure on Maduro and his band of thieves.

We have frozen the bank accounts of the regime’s most notorious gang leaders and revoked their visas and those of their immediately family members who benefited from their corruption and complicity. They and their families are no longer welcome in the United States.…We believe the current political and economic environment is unsustainable and that he will not be able to weather it much longer….. We recognize global diplomacy is required to ensure a peaceful and inclusive transition. This is not an effort by the United States alone but an effort by what is now near 50 democracies in this hemisphere and around the world.

We are witnessing a historic shift in our hemisphere toward democratic solidarity…Over the next weeks and months, the international community will take full advantage of the momentum built over the last few weeks.

We will continue our pressure against Maduro and his inner circle by a variety of means. But we will also provide off-ramps to those who will do what is right for the Venezuelan people.

We will support Venezuela’s interim president, the new government, and its aspirations to create a new Venezuela – full of hope, promise, and potential – and we will work together toward a democratic transition.

We will continue pressing our humanitarian assistance delivery with the help of our regional partners and the international community.

And we will expose and speak out against Maduro and his enablers’ cruelty and violence, recognizing the Venezuelan voices that have witnessed it firsthand.

In conclusion, Abrams said that Nicolas Maduro and his cronies are reeling from the force of Venezuela’s own people, who are determined to live in freedom and dignity. We are hopeful and confident the Venezuelan people will succeed in their quest for liberty. And when they do achieve this monumental goal, it will show despots and dictators not only in our hemisphere, but in the rest of the world, that the democratic will of the people will always outlive and outshine those who try to suppress it.

Comment: It was on January 23 Maduro was removed from power by the democratically elected National Assembly. It choose as president Juan Guaido. The Venezuelan people will continue the fight for freedom from corruption and socialist tyranny supported by a large number of democratic countries around the world including the United States.Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets in support of President Guaido. The new president has offered amnesty to officers and soldiers who defect to his side and U.S. The only support for the Maduro regime comes from state capitalist China, Communist Cuba, theocratic Iran, and authocratic Russia. On can only hope that the Venezuelan military objects to the intervention by foreign security forces and declare loyalty to the new democratic president. Victory for the Venezuelan people would be a victory for human freedom everywhere.


February 8, 2019

Yoram Hazony’s book “The Virtues of Nationalism” (2018) is a welcome highly elegant defense of the Westphalian order of independent states. Hazony is critical of the concept of Enlightenment German philosopher Immanuel Kant. He in 1795 presented a manifesto (”Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch”) which was an attack on the national state. Self-determination was, in the eyes of Kant, ”a barbarism”. In his view Europe should form an international state which would grow to embrace all the people of the earth. It was the only dictate of reason. All who opposed this ideal were barbarians seeking to prevent humanity’s move toward the reign of reason.

The globalist attacks on nationalism is a new phenomenon. In the 19th century the struggle of European peoples to free themselves from their imperial masters was regarded as a fight for liberation. Later most Westerners supported the East European people’s struggle to free themselves from the subjugation by the Soviets. Both the Nazis and the Soviet communists tried to put an end to national independence and self-determination of peoples.

This idea that universal order is an alternative to nationalism has resulted in some o the worst crimes in world history. Kant’s vision would result in the creation of a large administrative global government. Central technocrats would regulate every aspect of human life. Modern globalist leftists in other words seek a single, worldwide empire with universal laws imposed on nations. If necessary this order would require the use of force against nations.

In order to establish this dangerous vision all independent and democratic states that resist globalism are described as illiberal and autocratic standing in the way of progressive historical development. Conservatives have, so the globalists, revealed themselves as enemies of internationalist ideology. In reality they stand up to, and always have done so, large-scale forced attempts of social engineering. One attempt at this in modern history was the Marxist-Leninists seeking to create at world state of Soviet socialist republics.

The Soviets used force to create a world federal empire. The globalists of today claim that their federal project would be a benevolent. There can however be no such thing. All federalist projects have failed from the French Revolution onwards. Napoleon’s, Hitler’s and Stalin’s world empire dreams ended in violence and bloodshed.

But what about the European Union. Is that not an example of a benign empire in the spirit of Kant? It was created to abolish war between European national states in the wake of the two world wars. As a citizen of Israel Hazony naturally has his doubts concerning EU, which has always tended to support the Palestinian revolutionaries. He notes that the experiment in Europe has no strong executive for conducting foreign policy and waging war. Hazony regards Europe as a protectorate of the United States. It certainly is a protectorate in military affairs. The nuclear umbrella of the United States is probably the most important aspect. The alternative would be, so Hazony, German rearmament and more concentration of power in Germany. EU is having a number of problems and in the end it will most likely be ruled by centrally placed officials in spite all the founding instruments. Central technocrats will interpret, ignore, and alter any documents in light of their own understanding of what is required for the prosperity of this centrally controlled empire.

Historical experience favors the national state. It is formed of families and tribes that share a common history. A healthy national state does not want outside interference in its affairs. The Westphalian peace was based on a realist understanding of international politics. It did not eliminate war but it created a valuable balance of power.

A system of national states is preferable to a worldview that has only one true doctrine, globalism, a central world rule and promised salvation if one submits to it. Balance of power is the alternative where no autocratic or totalitarian state grows to strong.

Hazony’s bok in defense of the national state and civic nationalism is a welcome warning against the growing attempts by internationalists and globalists to create another failed world state. Most likely we will see not only in Europe a backlash against Kantian thinking. The reaction will take different forms. Hazony ends with the conclusion that there is no moral maturity in embracing a single benevolent empire. It will not be able to take care of humanity, judge for us and enforcing its judgements upon us. Moral maturity, he rightly argues, is to stand on our own feet, learn to govern ourselves and defend ourselves without harming those around us. It would also possibly include giving assistance to those who are closest to us. We should hope that when the time comes we can pass our national freedom on to our children.