The Cobra Effect
WASHINGTON – January 9, 2019
Erroneous decisions in politics or economics that yield short-term gains but ultimately lead to the opposite result are called the "Cobra effect." Once the British, who colonized India, decided to fight against poisonous snakes and appointed an award for each dead "hood head".
Initially, the number of cobras decreased. However, the Indians quickly realized their benefits and began to breed cobras, handing them over as necessary and thus providing "investments" for the future. After the abolition of remuneration, which became too onerous for the Treasury, all the "breeders" released the snakes into the wild. As a result, cobras bred much more than before the battle against them.
Therefore, the authorities applying certain measures of influence to society should first think carefully about how it could react.
The US has brazenly announced its consideration of a “military option” against Caracas in Venezuela and has assembled a coalition of the willing in Colombia and Brazil to prepare for an eventual “humanitarian” intervention. Most alarming is that the US seems indifferent to the consequences of such an invasion, which could easily become a regional and global conflagration involving Colombia, Brazil, and even Russia and China.
What the US finds particularly infuriating is that Maduro had the temerity to run for re-election in May 2018 after the US demanded he resigns. The US State Department had issued warnings four months prior to the election that the process “will be illegitimate” and the results “will not be recognized.” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley insisted that Maduro abdicate and presidential elections be postponed.
Washington is engaging in a multifaceted war against Venezuela by deploying economic sanctions, backing a campaign to install a transitional government, and preparing proxy military and paramilitary forces for an eventual intervention.
On August 4, 2018, a failed assassination attempt against President Maduro did not draw condemnation from either Washington or the Lima Group. On November 4, according to Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, three Bolivarian National Guard were killed and ten wounded in an attack by Colombian paramilitary forces in the frontier region of Amazonas. On December 5, the Brazilian vice president-elect Hamilton Mourão declared: “There will be a coup in Venezuela ... And the United Nations will have to intervene through a peace force ... and there is Brazil’s role: to lead this peace force.”
On December 12, 2018, President Maduro reported that “734 members of a paramilitary group called G8 were training [in the city of Tona, Colombia] for attacks against military units in the frontier states of Zulia, Tachira, Apure and Amazonas.” This report ought to be taken seriously given the presence of eight US military bases in Colombia, the recent association of Bogotá with NATO, Colombia’s rejection of direct communication with Venezuelan authorities, and its participation in US-led military exercises over the past two years. Last week, US Secretary of State Pompeo visited Colombia and Brazil to shore up joint efforts to “restore democracy” in Venezuela.
In response, Venezuela has been fortifying the civic-military alliance built up over the past two decades. The National Guard, military, and militias (now over 1,600,000 strong) have been able so far to fend off several terrorist attacks against public institutions and government leaders as well as an assassination attempt against President Maduro in August.
Caracas has also been developing close military cooperation with Russia and consolidating ties with China. With the recent visit of a pair of its TU 160 heavy bombers to Venezuela, Russia has demonstrated its ability to transport armaments more than 10,000 kilometers at supersonic speeds should the Caribbean nation come under attack by a foreign power. China has entered into agreements for massive economic cooperation with Venezuela, partially offsetting the punishing US sanctions. Also, the visit of a Chinese navy hospital ship in September subtly signaled Chinese military support of Venezuela.
According to Russian Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the US’s intentions to resort to military force "would be a catastrophic development."
"We warn against this kind of ‘temptation’ from hotheads in Washington," Ryabkov told reporters.
In these circumstances, Venezuela has no other choice but resistance. And it resists, by legal methods for now. On Tuesday, Venezuela launched a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) aimed at four previous rounds of US sanctions. We hope that the conflict will not develop into a hot phase and the US will not experience the Cobra effect.