The LP’s Latest Foreign Policy Blunder

by | Jun 12, 2019

The LP’s Latest Foreign Policy Blunder

by | Jun 12, 2019

The Libertarian Party recently released a video on the situation in Venezuela.

It is disturbingly mis-focused, embarrassingly ignorant and topped off with self-serving arrogance.

While decrying the horrors of “socialism,” it displays an apparent ignorance of the interference by the US government in the Venezuelan economy and the harm that has done.

Even the Miami Herald, located in Doral, Florida, home to the largest concentration of the Venezuelan upper-class diaspora, site of a Federal Reserve Bank facility, a Trump Resort Hotel and The Herald‘s next-door neighbor, SOUTHCOM, recognizes this.

“Venezuela imports 80 to 90 percent of all its goods — including food and medicine — and asphyxiating PDVSA [Venezuela’s state-owned oil company] limits the country’s ability to bring in necessities.”

But Dr. Kyle Varner tells us, “A country that is in the hands of the totalitarian left, it has been destroyed. We will never forget that this is the fault of SOCIALISM. As libertarians we are aware that socialism is death.”

Dr. Varner is identified as “…a member of the Libertarian Party since 1999 and currently serves as the treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii.”

It is not to ideological missteps of Chavez or Maduro for which we bear responsibility.

It is the boorishness and banality of our own head of state, as it serves as backdrop to the dangerous, extremist violence-backed coercion threatened by his nominal subordinates for which we Americans bear responsibility.

But apparently, Dr. Varner, the LP’s new foreign policy expert, prefers the opportunity to bad-mouth socialism than to inform himself about the aspect of Venezuela’s problems that are his, and all American’s responsibility.

Throughout, he displays a simple-minded view of the Venezuelan opposition as a monolith struggling in unison and harmony for nothing more than “freedom” — a term he invokes five times.

“Venezuelan activists…We are with you in your struggle… Each of your works, risks and sacrifices more than any of us, purely with the goal to live in a free nation. You have our respect as heroes of FREEDOM.”

But Sec. of State Mike Pompeo seems to know better:

“Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,” Pompeo admitted. “The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.”

Since by default, as least, Dr. Varner and the LP have signed on with the Trump Administration’s heavy-handed interventionism, perhaps they need to open direct lines of communication…

I don’t make this accusation flippantly or for the sake of hyperbolic rhetoric;

So carried away with anti-socialist hysteria, the critical priority to first and foremost oppose Washington’s bloody imperialist agenda — an agenda that in recent times has laid waste to other oil-rich nations such as Libya and Iraq seems lost on our pro-freedom hero.

And it is by this gross and critical failure that rather than advance the cause of peace and liberty, the LP has reduced itself to a marginally useful idiot to John Bolton and Eliot Abram’s plans for Venezuela.

But that may actually be, rather than an unwitting failure, precisely what Dr. Varner has in mind.

It is noteworthy that while the term “free market” is used only once,”capitalism” or “capitalist” is referenced four times in his video.

“In the upcoming elections we are confident that for the first time in many decades, Venezuelans will be able to vote for a capitalist option.”

“The path is very clear, we need …the election of a capitalist leader.”

But what sort of “capitalism” is imposed by government? Certainly not a free market version…

Sounds more like Mr. Bolton’s version:

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

If challenged, Dr. Varner might disclaim support for Bolton’s agenda. But it is paramount for all Americans to focus on opposing Washington’s imperialist designs on Venezuela rather than on the inherent failures of socialism as manifest in Venezuela today. To do otherwise is to support the Bolton agenda by default.

Clearly, Dr. Varner does not grasp the distinction between “capitalism” and “free market.”

In the early 17th century, a colony was established in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Socialism was written in to it’s tenets.

In the 19th century, Robert Owen, socialist pioneer and wealthy textile manufacturer, tried numerous socialist experiments, both in the British Isles and in America. Others independently tried to implement his ideals.

All of these were attempted in a relatively free economic scenario; all based on voluntary cooperation — and all failures.

A free market dispenses with socialism simply by allowing it to fail of it’s own inherent flaws.

There is no need for “Venezuelans … to vote for a capitalist option” or “the election of a capitalist leader” there.

Indeed, state capitalism is as much the enemy of a free market as is state socialism.

From start to finish, Dr. Varner’s tone is one of arrogance and presumption. From opening self-identification he goes directly to claims that “Venezuelan activists for freedom, it’s important that you know that you have the support of all the defenders of freedom in the world,” co-opting the global libertarian movement with a wave of the hand.

Varner is a medical doctor, not an attorney or other expert in law. Yet he confidently asserts “…the constitution of Venezuela …empowers Juan Guaido as the acting President of Venezuela.”

He doesn’t go into details, but does mention the pertinent article, 233, which states:

“The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events: death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote. When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable to serve prior to his inauguration…Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the President of the National Assembly shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.”

Clearly, as Amaury Cruz notes, “Maduro is not dead, has not resigned, has not been dismissed by the Supreme Court, is not permanently incapacitated in any way, has not abandoned the office, and has not lost his mandate by popular revocation. The most that can be said is that he’s not as popular as Chávez. But certainly lack of popularity does not equate with constitutional disqualification.”

And while I doubt Mr. Cruz would not deny being biased in Maduro’s favor, he is, after all, an “attorney from Miami Beach.”

But legal expertise be damned, Dr. Varner lectures us, “Those who do not recognize Juan Guaido reject the constitution and the rule of law. They are the real enemies, not only of the Venezuelan people but also of all of us libertarians.” Again, Dr. Varner, of whom I, for one, knew nothing before this video, presumes to speak for me — on pain of ex-communication for the libertarian movement, I expect.

Briefly outlining his plan for Venezuela, post-Maduro and socialism, Dr. Varner exposes his interventionist, statist proclivities by asserting “This is necessary for Venezuela, as it was for post-Nazi Germany…”

Then a quick pivot back to arrogance for closing remarks:

“On behalf of all libertarians I want to say, ‘Count on us.'”

This, in contrast, is what a libertarian video on the situation in Venezuela should look and sound like. I’d like to hear Dr. Varner explain to Dr. Ron Paul how he’s among “the real enemies, not only of the Venezuelan people but also of all of us libertarians.”

About Robert Noval

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