What is a verbal contract worth these days? Read my post, The $100 billion no-deal Iran deal.
Please read my article, The foreign policy house of lies, on one of the many lies the Obama foreign policy is based.
The title comes from this line,
a highly successful, cutthroat consultant is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary.
Change consultant for community organizer. The dollar signs in the logo fit well with the money the Castros stand to get.
Secretary of State John Kerry is in Havana today for the opening of the U.S. Embassy. Read my article and roundup here.
Excuse that there was no space at ceremony for any dissidents to be invited belied by actual space at ceremony pic.twitter.com/Cd8N2HQdT5
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 14, 2015
Thomas Shannon (left in the above photo), a senior counselor to Secretary of State John F. Kerry, met with Venezuela’s National Assembly president Diodado Cabello (right) in Haiti earlier this month.
As you may recall, Diosdado is being investigated by the U.S. Justice department for drug trafficking and money laundering.
Jackson Diehl asks, why?
Cabello and his nominal boss, President Nicolás Maduro, were quick to trumpet their versions. The meeting, Maduro said, was part of a “normalization” of relations between his increasingly beleaguered regime and the Obama administration. Cabello offered it as proof that the reports that he is a U.S. criminal suspect are false. U.S. officials, meanwhile, sounded confused. Both the White House and State Department spokesmen said they were unaware that Cabello had met with Shannon.I heard another story: that the meeting was part of what has become an increasingly urgent attempt by the administration to broker a soft landing for a collapsing Latin American state.
Diehl speculates that Kerry intends to prolong Leopoldo Lopez’s life, and aim for “fair elections” (whatever that means in Venezuela at this point, since there is no reason why the Venezuelan regime would want a real election). Mary O’Grady has more,
A State Department official told me last week that the issues discussed with Mr. Cabello in Haiti included the treatment of the Maduro government’s political prisoners, the importance of setting a date for parliamentary elections this year, and providing internationally credible observation.
While Shannon has traveled twice to Venezuela this year,
when asked at a State Department briefing about Mr. Cabello’s role in Port-au-Prince, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said “I was not aware of a meeting with him.”
A State Department spokesperson told me in an email last week that the [Haiti] meeting was “positive and productive.” Translation: Nothing to see here; move along. In fact there’s a lot riding on these negotiations. The end of the chavismo dictatorship would be a good thing. But a descent into chaos of African proportions would take with it the frail democracy movement.
Venezuela News and Views agrees,
The fact of the matter is that Venezuela is a problem big enough that negotiations are a must because the alternative, not negotiating and waiting to see what happens is even worse.
There is a lot riding on these negotiations, for both Venezuela and Cuba.
And then there is a fourth party not mentioned by Diehl and O’Grady: Iran.
Emili Blasco, in his book Bumerán Chávez: Los fraudes que llevaron al colapso de Venezuela, details the many and extensive ties between Iran and Venezuela. Not to be ignored is how Iran milks the difference between the black market and official bolivar-dollar exchange rates and drains Venezuela’s foreign currency reserves. An easing of commercial ties between the U.S. and Venezuela will benefit Venezuela’s foreign currency reserves.
Iran, for one, will be watching closely.
On Friday, President Barack Obama named Bernard “Bernie” Aronson, a U.S. assistant secretary of state for inter-American Affairs from 1989 to 1993, as the envoy. He will help the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, overcome roadblocks in the final stretch of negotiations.
Let’s hope it’s not another case of “not wanting anything in return.”
But they do look glum, don’t they?
Lurch brought a friend to Paris:
— Fausta (@Fausta) January 16, 2015
Some of the reaction:
— Angus E. Parvo (@angusparvo) January 16, 2015
— Fausta (@Fausta) January 16, 2015
Is Jerry Lewis doing a set after Taylor finishes? @JammieWF
— David Jack Smith (@davidjacksmith) January 16, 2015
May God help us. Our secretary of state brought James Taylor with him to Paris and had Taylor sing “You’ve Got a Friend.” THIS HAPPENED. I want to escape America in a balloon.