There’s been a remarkable about-face by President Obama regarding the threat of Venezuela to the national security of the U.S..
Last month, the president issued an executive order imposing some mild sanctions on seven Venezuela officials who the U.S. says were responsible for the growing climate of human rights violations. The White House said of President Maduro’s crackdown on the opposition, “We are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government’s efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents./..Venezuela’s problems cannot be solved by criminalizing dissent.”
In addition to the sanctions, the president declared a national emergency and referred to the Venezuelan regime as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United State.”
Sounds serious, right?
After President Maduro threw a tantrum against “American imperialism” and gathered 10 million names on a petition against the sanctions, President Obama backed down and, in an interview this week, said that “Venezuela is not a threat to the U.S. and the U.S. is not a threat to Venezuela.”
So much for the “national emergency.”
Maduro claimed “victory” — as well he should.
Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, is claiming “victory” after President Obama said in an interview earlier this week that “Venezuela is not a threat.”
Maduro is attributing Obama’s supposed change of stance to his initiative of gathering 10 million signatures protesting “U.S. imperialism.”
“This rectification of vocabulary means a lot and it was possible thanks to the help we received from other Latin American governments and the entire world,” Maduro said Thursday to a crowd gathered in front of the Miraflores Presidential Palace.
He said that Obama’s change of language could open a “new era” of relations between the U.S. and Venezuela.
It gets worse — or better if you’re Maduro. When some reporter timidly asked if the president’s statement represented something of a retreat from the language in the executive order (Jesus, what else could it be), a State Department spokesman referred to former Obama speechwriter, now foreign policy expert Ben Rhodes, who gave this incredible explanation earlier:
Asked whether the U.S. was walking back from its previous depiction of Venezuela as a national security threat, a State Department spokesman, Justen Thomas, referred to remarks by a deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, at a press briefing this week in which he said: “The wording [of the executive order], which got a lot of attention, is completely pro forma. This is a language that we use in executive orders around the world. So the United States does not believe that Venezuela poses some threat to our national security. We, frankly, just have a framework for how we formalize these executive orders.”
By his side was Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, a willing signer of the petition that will be delivered this weekend to President Obama at the Summit of the Americas taking place in Panama City.
This is actually good news. Doesn’t this mean that the president’s executive orders on immigration are merely “pro-forma” and they don’t really mean what they say? What a relief. For a while we all thought the president was serious about tearing up the Constitution and doing an end run around Congress.
Obama reminds me of the punch-drunk boxer, cowering in the corner, covering up, as the champ pummels him with blow after blow after blow. It appears that his entire second term will be spent caving in to the thugs and evil fanatics of the world who have been largely kept in a box by presidents of both parties since the end of the cold war. They have been released now, free to run wild and dominate and bully their neighbors — with the president of the United States their chief enabler.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the foreign policy that the most radical liberals have been wanting for 40 years: a humbled, apologetic United States, playing second fiddle to the United Nations, agreeing with every claim of “imperialism” made by every tin pot dictator in all the benighted cesspools of the world. Obama believes it’s time for the U.S. to be taught a lesson through humiliation. And school has just begun.