Ramping up…

…the blowback
Mad Maduro’s been a bit too clever by half!! Not only does he face a restive populace that’s been catching hell for over a decade under his inept rule, but he’s pi55ing off the military — the only institution with the clout to keep him in power. Now, unlike his mentor Chavez, who was a military man and had the cred that commanded respect for his Chavismo philosophy, ex-bus driver Mad Maduro has exposed himself as a poseur – with no grounding in either the military or politics. He just fell into a good thing, which he refuses to give up – even though it’s clear from the beginning he just ain’t up to the job!!
While Chavez institutionalised the enhanced role of the military under the rubric of “civilian-military union” in Venezuela in the 1999 constitution, what Maduro’s done is to dole out all strategic aspects of governance to military officials who toe his dictatorial line – just so’s to line their pockets. Between 2013 and 2017, Mad Maduro established about fourteen military firms in twenty economic sectors – including agriculture, mining, oil, construction, banking, tourism, insurance and the media. Take the nationalised oil company PDVSA, that was the money tree: it was put in charge of a military General fella who built a bankroll of over US$20 billion from the oil smuggled out by various nefarious sleights of hand to countries like China. And guess what?? Maduro was upset when it was revealed that the US$20B was used as a piggy bank by the General and his cronies!! The General’s now in the stockade, facing corruption charges!! What did Maduro expect, when a General’s salary is the equivalent of US$10 PER MONTH!! It’s not that military personnel can’t run things, but they’re human beings who must be given incentives!!
And this brings us to the present, where Mad Maduro’s courting an almost certain war against the USA!! Now, part and parcel of Chavismo is that the US was the same as the Devil in a Catholic country!! They’ve never forgotten Chavez’s quip that he smelled sulphur when he followed Bush to the podium to speak at the UN!! Anyhow, while the military may hate the US’ guts, that doesn’t mean they will be willing to take on the mightiest fighting force in the world!! Mad Maduro might be counting on American civilian sentiments not to place American boots on the ground, as in Ukraine; they forget that the US has a long history of seeing the Caribbean and Latin America as its “happy hunting grounds”!!
The US has made many an intervention to secure American interests – starting in 1823, when the Monroe Doctrine was declared to state just that!!
The Venezuelan military may be underpaid, but not stupid. They might just oust Maduro!

…pressure on our “friends”
Now, your Eyewitness understands that countries act to protect their interests. So he can understand Trinidad’s Keith Rowley sucking up to Maduro, because the Venezuelan Dragon Field is a lifeline to his sinking economy. We understand, also, the US approving the joint development – along with the licences they gave to Chevron to develop some fields for PDVSA. Hey…it’s all about interests, innit??
So, Keith shouldn’t mind that Jagdeo bitch-slapped him something silly on the said Dragon Field!! The VP’s just protecting OUR interests – which holds that anything favourable to Mad Maduro ain’t kosher with us!! We can overlook the US’ actions, ‘cause they’re bellying up to the bar to deliver for us big time!! “Haan wash haan mek haan come clean”, and all that. So, will Keith be washing our hand anytime soon in Essequibo – apart from platitudes??
In the coming months, Guyanese gonna have to learn to stop playing nice and start playing tough – for our paramount interest – survival!!

…our tributes
The five GDF soldiers who perished in Essequibo are heroes, who must be given the highest honours available to servicemen. It’s not for us to know precisely what they were doing – it was in the national interest!!