Last month, Russia began moving men and materiel into Venezuela.
The situation there was already tragic and dangerous. Now it is much worse.
The Russians are there to strengthen the disastrous, murderous regime of Nicolas Maduro. I suppose they’re there to support a fellow socialist/communist, but the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest known oil reserves probably attracts their attention, as well.
Ironically, those oil reserves are not helping keep the lights on in Venezuela. Since March 7th, much of the country has been without power.
Until the blackouts, Venezuelans with US dollars were able to buy some staples. Many of them shared food and other essentials with their neighbors. But with the blackouts, stores remain closed. Trucks can’t move what goods there are because there’s no electricity for the fuel pumps.
Without power, there is no refrigeration. People are struggling to keep food edible. They are scavenging through trash and landfills.
With no power to pump water, the taps in their homes are dry. In Caracas, thousands trek daily to a nearby mountain spring. The lines are long. They spend all day waiting their turn, then carry home only a few gallons of water. And water is heavy and difficult to carry.
Sanitary conditions are atrocious. That leads to increasing outbreaks of sickness at a time when medical help is almost non-existent.
Despite all of this, Maduro’s government has blocked international attempts to send aid to the Venezuelan people.
In the last few days, though, the Red Cross announced that it has received permission to begin moving aid into the country. That’s big news. It will provide some minimal relief to the suffering Venezuelans. And it is a tacit admission by Maduro that his people are in dire straits. In many cases, they are literally starving.
Until recently, Venezuela’s military has allowed Maduro to remain in power. But some ranking members of the military have begun turning against him.
That’s when Russia stepped in.
Russia did the same thing in Syria to allow Bashar al-Assad to remain as dictator. That allows Russia to control some of the world’s most strategic territory.
Now they are trying it in the Western Hemisphere.
Since the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has basically warned the world that it will not tolerate European nations interfering in this hemisphere of the world.
Russia’s military presence in Venezuela is a direct challenge to America’s sphere of influence.
President Trump has stated bluntly that, “Russia has to get out.” When asked how he could accomplish that, he replied, “We’ll see. All options are open.”
Is another Cuban Missile Crisis brewing in Venezuela? Will the US blink first? Or will Russia?
It’s troubling to note that even with President Trump’s intensive push to update and upgrade America’s armed forces posture, our assumed military superiority has slipped substantially over the last decade.
The Heritage Foundation recently observed, “The US military is only marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital interests.”
Even the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was formed by Congress in 2000, recently issued a dismal assessment. They said, “With the advances made by the PLA Air Force (China’s air force), the United States and its allies and partners can no longer assume achieving air superiority in an Indo-Pacific conflict.”
Even though we spend more on our military than all the other nations combined (of course, we can’t really know what Russia and China actually spend), the truth is that many analysts see our military as vulnerable.
There are a number of reasons why America has slipped so far in recent years. Not the least of which is that our armed forces must follow the rules and regulations of “political correctness.” Those ridiculous, arbitrary edicts often put our service members and tactical efforts in mortal danger. (In just one example, in the previous administration, lawyers were sometimes embedded with fighting units to issue rulings over whether certain responses to aggression were appropriate and acceptable. If no legal specialists were present, the fighters waited for approval from their higher-ups! There are soldiers who have been court martialed for reacting inappropriately and not awaiting permission for their actions.)
When Russia or China wants to build a military establishment, they do so. In America, we have to wait years for environmental studies to make certain some obscure plant or bug isn’t threatened.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Russia says its defense spending amounts to just one-tenth of America’s. But Russia isn’t particularly concerned with the political issues requiring them to build weapons with such pinpoint precision that they inflict little collateral damage. Russia wants as much destructive power as possible.
And their current military establishment is built on the leftovers from massive levels of Soviet-era defense spending. Including thousands of nuclear-tipped ICBMs.
Likewise, the Chinese say their military budget is only half of that of the United States.
But their emerging advantage starts with their edge in manufacturing. They have an almost unlimited supply of cheap, skilled labor.
And they have had enormous assistance from several major American companies. Not long ago, it was illegal to export cutting edge technology TO China. Now, we import cutting edge technology FROM China.
China has a spy apparatus like nothing else in the world. (We now know they even had a spy working for decades for US Senator Dianne Feinstein. Whose husband’s company, coincidentally, made billions of dollars from Chinese contracts! Go figure.)
China steals business and trade secrets as a matter of course. They also steal military secrets.
China’s military goals are integrated into everything. Last year, a US tech company discovered hidden microchips on computer servers made in China. Some of those servers where used by the CIA to compress video from their drones. So, using chips illegally placed inside larger servers manufactured in China, Chinese intelligence agencies were able to monitor certain CIA operations.
Any technology or technological equipment manufactured in China is vulnerable to Chinese government interference. This is particularly worrisome since much of the technology for the new 5G standard for connecting phones to the internet is coming from China.
Right now, China is leading the technology race. From a Biblical prophecy perspective, all of these things are huge. The Bible tells us that Russia and China will be major players in the last days.
America will not.
Speaking of the last days power configurations, March 29th was scheduled to be British Independence Day. The day the United Kingdom formally left the European Union.
It wasn’t. Because the UK didn’t.
And now, no one really knows when or if it will happen. Three years ago, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. Since then, Parliament, with the complicity of the Conservative Party, has been doing everything it can to thwart that move.
As the British would say, Prime Minister Theresa May has made a right muck-up of everything, but even when she does present deals for the exit, Parliament rejects them.
Of course, I don’t blame her exclusively. The European Union has been trying to make an example of the United Kingdom. They want to show other European nations what will happen to “rogue” nations who might someday dare to leave the confederation.
The EU (primarily egged on by Germany and France) is morphing into something immense and awful. But this shouldn’t surprise us. According to the Bible, it — or something like it — will one day bring the Antichrist to power.
Finally, we often call the Jews “God’s chosen people.” What do we mean by that? What were they chosen for?
On this week’s program, I am going to discuss four things that God chose the Jews to do.
I am also going to discuss why the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah even though He perfectly fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
I can sum it up in one word: Tradition.
I think it will help you answer many of the questions you may have concerning “God’s chosen people.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Please note that The Hal Lindsey Report is no longer airing on Trinity Broadcasting Network. We have enjoyed an incredible 12 years on TBN, but financial considerations have dictated that we restructure our airtime commitments.
For those of you who are accustomed to watching the Report on Friday evenings, each week’s program will become available on Friday at my website, www.hallindsey.com. The first national television broadcast each week will be on Sunday evening at 11:00 pm (Eastern), 10:00 pm (Central) or 8:00 pm (Pacific) on Daystar Television Network.