The hospitals in Venezuela are overcrowded with children suffering from extreme malnutrition and dehydration. Because of hyperinflation, the Venezuelan Bolivar is all but worthless.

The country's only source of revenue is oil, but thanks to corruption and neglect, oil production is down. Making matters worse for everyone in the county, especially innocent children, the US has had sanctions on Venezuela since 2014, but not on oil.

Today, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson says U.S. Weighing Sanctions on Venezuelan Oil Sector.

The Trump administration is weighing restrictions on Venezuela’s oil exports and the sale of U.S.-refined petroleum products to the country, but it is wary of the damage that may cause to American companies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Spotlight Cuba

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The US had sanctions on Cuba starting with sugar import restriction in 1960 under Eisenhower. The US never managed to drive Castro from power. Not only did those import restrictions cause the US to overpay for sugar, cigars and the like, the people most hurt by the sanctions were innocent growers in Cuba, not the Cuban government.

Please consider this December 2016 Japan Times article: U.S. Would Be Wise to End Sanctions on Cuba.

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When the Soviet Union collapsed, ending subsidies for the Castro regime, many analysts believed that Cuban communism was doomed. But 22 years later the Castro regime staggers on, an embarrassing specter from the past.

The belief that doing ever more of the same decades after imposing the embargo would yield a different result suggests that U.S. policymakers suffer from at least a touch of insanity. More than a half century of sanctions have not sparked a popular uprising, forced the Castros and allies from power, moderated the regime, delivered democracy, promoted economic liberalization, cut regime ties with other communist systems, stopped foreign investment, or achieved much else of note.

In fact, this is a fairly common experience for sanctions. Few governments are inclined to dismantle themselves under foreign pressure.

It would be wonderful, of course, if the Donald could end Cuban communism by simply speaking the word. But the embargo won’t help them to do that. Better to flood Cuba with Americans bearing dollars.

Then the rewards from engagement will be obvious to all. That doesn’t guarantee Cuba will become free — the fearful regime actually has stepped up political repression and religious persecution over the last two years — but openness offers a better long-term alternative. The more the country is immersed in the world, the harder it would be for the regime to preserve the sclerotic, impoverished, repressive system.

How Pathetic

The US is concerned about US oil profits and does not give a rat's ass about starving children. The US is not to blame for the sorry state of affairs in Venezuela, but there is no reason for the US to add to Venezuelan misery..

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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