Want sanctions with actual teeth against Venezuela’s power-brokers? ( Listen to Amb. Otto Reich)
"Money talks, bullshit walks," some say. Well the money from Venezuela's "Boligarchs," is talking while the BS from U.S. politicians is walking. "Boligarchs," by the way, is short for "Bolivarian Oligarchs."
These consist of Venezuela's fist-pumping, slogan-chanting, Che shirt-wearing (in Venezuelan public) but Armani-wearing (upon arriving at Miami Int. Airport) multi-millionaire officials and their secret business partners--many in quite "respectable" U.S. business and political circles, by the way. Here I'll turn over the floor to Ambassador Reich:
In response to the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations by the Socialist government of Nicolas Maduro, the U.S. should quietly notify Venezuela's generals and oligarchs that if the violence against unarmed civilians continues, or if the government refuses to negotiate with the opposition and release all political detainees, they and their families will have their U.S. visas revoked and their overseas financial holdings frozen.
It will come as a surprise to many Americans that on many Friday afternoons Florida airports see a rush of jets arriving from "revolutionary" Venezuela, carrying the families, friends, and business associates of that country's political, military and economic elite -- and in many cases, the potentates themselves: the military officers and civilian ministers of government.
Revocation of U.S. visas is a clean, quick remedy to the conundrum of what to do about the new authoritarians in Latin America (and elsewhere). The executive authority rests in section 212 of the Immigration and Nationalities Act: in Presidential Proclamation 7750, also known as the "anti-kleptocracy resolution"; in the Patriot Act, and in other laws. It has been used before numerous times, but not sufficiently in recent years.
The U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, Homeland Security, and many agencies such as CIA, DEA, FBI, SEC, IRS, and others have names and data on these individuals. All it will take to implement this policy is political will.