The Afternoon Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
In case you’re still thinking this whole “Trump is Putin’s puppet” narrative has legs, well, think again. Vladimir Putin is a decidedly unhappy hombre’ today, and it all has to do with the ongoing efforts by the Trump Administration to depose his real puppet, Venezuelan socialist thug Nicolas Maduro.
Earlier today, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the U.S. would place severe sanctions on Maduro’s regimen and Venezuela’s national oil company, PdVSA:
Steve Mnuchin: “As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of PdVSA subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”
At his press conference, Mnuchin said these actions basically place a quarantine on $7 billion in PdVSA assets in the U.S., and would represent $11 billion in foregone oil exports to the U.S. over the next 12 months. Mnuch said the U.S. decided to target PdVSA because it has long been used by the Maduro regime as “a vehicle for corruption.”:
“A variety of schemes have been designed to embezzle billions of dollars from PdVSA for the personal gain of corrupt Venezuelan officials and businessmen. For example, a 2014 currency exchange scheme was designed to embezzle and launder around $600 million from PdVSA, money obtained through bribery and fraud. By May 2015, the conspiracy had allegedly doubled in amount, to $1.2 billion embezzled from PdVSA. Abraham Edgardo Ortega, a Venezuelan national who was PdVSA’s executive director of financial planning, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in the billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PdVSA.”
The ongoing, aggressive efforts by the Trump Administration to depose Maduro put the lie to Democrat/media allegations that the U.S. President is some sort of “puppet” or ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin has, over the last several years, invested billions of dollars in efforts to prop up the Maduro regime, often taking ownership of Venezuela’s oil assets in return.
As Reuters reported in 2017, Putin’s Russia had by that time already made at least $17 billion in such investments, a total that has only grown in the intervening two years. Thus, any sanctions on Venezuelan oil assets strike directly at the Russian Bear.
Putin’s spokesman at the U.N. made Russia’s displeasure with the efforts to oust Maduro very clear, as Russia led the effort to deny a unanimous U.N. Security Council vote in favor of an effort by the U.S. and European Union to impose international sanctions on Maduro, and endorse opposition leader Juan Guaido.
All of which adds up to completely refute the ongoing joint efforts by the Democrat Party and our fake news media to portray President Trump as a Russian agent. These people really are shameless.
That is all.
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