With the sending of troops to Venezuela to secure the dictator Nicolás Maduro, the Russian Vladimir Putin has crossed another border – the Monroe doctrine, practically the oldest principle of US foreign policy.
Blocked by President James Monroe as early as 1823 European colonialism in the New World declares that the interference of Old World peoples in the Western Hemisphere is "the manifestation of an unfriendly attitude towards the United States."
The Russian soldiers will make no big difference I will fuel the burning fury of the population against Maduro – who led his predecessor Hugo Chavez Venezuela into catastrophe.
But Moscow's move is an obvious challenge for Washington. Not only President Trump, but America will look weak.
Trump warned mid-week that "Russia must leave Venezuela" and "all options" on the table to make it happen. National Security Advisor John Bolton then declared on Friday that he described and promised such "provocative measures" as "a direct threat to international peace and security in the region", "the interests of the United States and those of our EU partners defending and protecting the Western Hemisphere. "
Moscow doubled, saying its troops would" stay as long as needed and as long as the Venezuelan government needed them. "
This reinforces the argumentation behind veteran diplomat Roger Noriega's proposed approach, notably US military support to a Venezuelan-led Liberation Force loyal to Interim President Juan Guaidó.
The majority of the hemisphere and most democracies outside the US recognize Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela the support of the arm lost to the nation that had been the bulwark of the regime.
Power outages are now common, and this only covers the ever-growing shortage of food and basic medicines. According to UN estimates, a quarter of the population needs humanitarian aid, according to Reuters.
Help that does not let Maduro over the border or into the ports: He would rather see a mass hunger.
Guaidó has filed an application for nationwide mass protest on Monday. Perhaps this will trigger the beginning of mass military kidnappings or call on the commanders to leave a leader who has ruined the country.
Maduro's speedy extermination would be a sufficient blow against Putin. In one way or another, however, Washington has to hit him hard for this last provocation.