Besides the obvious drugs definitely and terrorists possibly entering the United States and territories of its allies, Venezuela is a broken-down country that needs serious help, and some countries providing help aren’t allied with the United States.
Russia gave them a loan! Yep, another one of those plans by Russia and China to give crippling loans and then renegotiate by saying you don’t have to pay in cash but can pay in land and perhaps a military base if the creditor is feeling bold enough to ask. While China is doing this in Sri Lanka or other Asian countries, it’s much more significant when Russia or China, in this case, Russia, is doing something similar only a few hours flying time away from the capital of the United States and, seriously, only a couple hours from Miami.
Venezuela owes Russia money and may not be able to pay. Who cares?! Well, Venezuela owns Citgo. Yes, the gas station. Venezuela used Citgo as COLLATERAL for the loan from Russia. If Venezuela doesn’t pay, Russia owns Citgo, which is only 8% of U.S. daily consumption of oil, 13.4% of consumption in the 29 states and D.C. where it operates, and more than that when you consider it only has a few gas stations in several of those states. Therefore, a few states could see gas prices skyrocket. Why not have those prices skyrocket right before an election or perhaps drop, depending on the candidate who is talking about it and whether Russia wants that candidate to win?
Let’s not forget that Venezuela doesn’t like the United States. Perhaps this collateral was chosen because, if they can’t pay Russia, at least they can screw over the United Sates.
Let’s also not forget that Venezuela is very close to Cuba, where the United States has only ONE military base, and they’re downsizing it. Now, improving relations with Cuba could help, but we’re going to need to fight back against Venezuela if ever they get dominated by a Russian military presence. Venezuela is not just in South America but actually the most northern country in South America. So, it’s pretty close to the United States.
Backing off from militarization for just a second, what I see is a clear ability to manipulate United States oil markets in a few states significantly and several more in a way that will definitely hurt a few million citizens gradually. We’ve seen that nonmilitary action has supplanted conventional military activity as the new way to hurt a country, and this is certainly one way to do it. The new enemy is not the U.S. military but the U.S. citizen, and any small rise in oil prices will directly affect them.
China also has strong interests in giving loans and “assistance” to countries that align with its interests and have so many vulnerabilities that they’re easy to manipulate. Venezuela is a great candidate. They also have connections and bilateral agreements with Brazil that dominate over most other countries’ involvements there. Given the unstable economy there and China’s already huge presence on the ground, it’s clear we may need to soon know how to say conquistador in Mandarin. China is also interested in building a canal to replace the Panama Canal, and it’s clear they’d give preferential access to its allies and harsh terms of entry to anyone they want cripple. They definitely have patience in their pursuits against their enemies. The United States has the most powerful military in the world and nearly 25 allies with more power than China. Therefore, you can’t beat them. You essentially have to employ death by a thousand pin pricks, which is something the Chinese are patient enough to do.
In short, China and Russia may look to partner in Venezuela in ten to fifteen year’s time, as well.