18 February 2019   Leave a comment

President Trump delivered a speech today at Florida International University in which he made statements directly to the Venezuelan military. Reuters quotes the President as saying: “if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, ‘you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything.’” The threat comes as the US continues to send humanitarian aid to points just beyond the Venezuelan border. The apparent hope is that the promise of aid could lead younger members of the Venezuelan military to defect from the military officers who continue to support Maduro. Alex Ward, writing for Vox, describes the horrific economic conditions in the country:

Inflation in the country now hovers above a million percent, and could reach 10 million percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Food and medicine are too expensive for many to purchase. And since 2015, more than 3 million Venezuelans have left the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere, primarily in Colombia. (It’s expected that another 2 million will become refugees in 2019 alone.)”

There does not appear to be a coordinated response among the US and its allies about what the next step should be. It does seem clear that while many states would like to see a more forceful response, many fear that stronger US action will only reinforce Maduro’s position.

Violence continues in Kashmir, as Indian troops try to address the attacks launched by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistani militia dedicated to ending Indian control over parts of Kashmir. India is contemplating responses to the attacks, but Kashmiris living in India have been subjected to increased harassment. It seems as if the situation in Kashmir is steadily becoming more volatile and there does not seem to be any strong interest by either Pakistan or India to ease the tensions. The Trump Administration has clearly signaled its support for India in the dispute: “So far, out of all the official outpouring of sympathy from across the globe, the US has been the only major power to directly name Pakistan in multiple official statements.”

Border Disputes in Kashmir

Posted February 18, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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