Breaking News: The US Has Seized a North Korean Cargo Ship

From CNN:

The United States has seized a North Korean cargo ship, alleging sanctions violations by the country, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The seizure is likely to heighten tensions between the two countries at a time when US efforts to dissuade North Korea from pursuing its nuclear weapons program have stalled following the failure of the Hanoi summit in February.

The ship, the M/V Wise Honest, was “used to illicitly ship coal from North Korea and to deliver heavy machinery to the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea),” the Justice Department said, alleging that “payments for maintenance, equipment, and improvements of the Wise Honest were made in US dollars through unwitting US banks.

“This conduct violates longstanding US law and United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the Justice Department said.

It’s unclear precisely when the ship was seized by the US, but a warrant for the seizure of the M/V Wise Honest was issued by a US federal judge in July 2018, according to a forfeiture complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.

According to the complaint, Indonesian maritime authorities intercepted and detained the ship on April 2, 2018. The North Korean captain of the ship was arrested and charged with violations of Indonesian maritime law, according to the complaint, which says he was convicted by an Indonesian court in November 2018 of “offenses related to improper documentation for the ship.”

Court documents said the ship was used to haul coal as well as heavy machinery, including 412,584 kilograms of “steel plate.” The ship moved between ports in China and North Korea, and according to a contract referenced in the court documents, was scheduled to make at least one stop in Russia.

A US judge last July issued a warrant authorizing the seizure of the ship and it is “currently in the custody of the United States,” the court documents say.

In a statement, senior Justice Department officials called the seizure the first of its kind, and said it was part of the US campaign of “maximum pressure” against the North Korean government.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We are deeply committed to the role the Justice Department plays in applying maximum pressure to the North Korean regime to cease its belligerence.”

This is unrelated to the DPRK’s recent missile tests.

I want to provide some clarification here about how this would have gone done in an operational sense. The seizure would have been done by either the US Navy, with Coast Guard Sailors on board in charge of the seizure operations or it would have been done by the US Coast Guard with the US Navy providing support. While most people are unaware, including a large number of military personnel I’ve worked with (don’t ask…), the US has Coast Guard floats in almost every Geographic Combatant Command (GCC) Areas of Responsibility (AOR). They are there to work with allied and partner nations, specifically to provide training, as well as advise and assist support, for our allied and partner nations navies and coast guards*. As a result, it is possible to divert one of these floats for operational requirements as needed. At the same time, Coast Guard Sailors are also seconded to US Navy ships on a variety of missions in a variety of Areas of Responsibility, though most deal with interdicting smuggling, drug, and/or weapons trafficking because of the Coast Guard’s dual status in fulfilling their historic mission as cutter-men.

Open thread!

* A lot of (most?) countries do not separate out their naval functions into blue and brown water as the US does.






104 replies
  1. 1
    The Moar You Know says:

    So, who is actually running the shitshow that is our foreign policy? Pompeo, Bolton or Trump?

    I jest, of course. We’re just making it up as we go along at this point.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: I believe this sums it up:

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    Finally, Republicans discover unclean coal!

    In travel news, a reason to go to Denver.

  4. 4

    Now that Trump has heard about the boat from the news, I assume he’ll give it back to North Korea.

  5. 5
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: A more universally applicable sound bite was never uttered.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    We talking lend-lease? Permanent bequest? Relocating an entire franchise and renaming them the Pyongyang ICBMS?

  7. 7
    Doug R says:

    When is coal going to get a break?

  8. 8
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Now that Trump has heard about the boat from the news, I assume he’ll give it back to North Korea.

    LOL (while curled up in fetal position, whimpering…)

  9. 9
    kindness says:

    TrumpCo is desperatly trying to look tough by bullying small countries.

    Hey Trump! Why don’t you pick on someone your own size? You know, like Russia or China?

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    this is ridiculous

    COAL?
    Muthaphuckin’ COAL?

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Actually it’s a typo. Should be Cole. Apparently, they interdicted and seized a house in Bethany, W VA.

  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    Looks like we’re due for another round of “Fire & Fury” bombast.

  13. 13
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Likely it’s coal dust too. Apparently NK main export is coal dust.

    But when will the hate for coal end?

  14. 14
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @trollhattan: 🎶 Magic mushroom high in Colorado🎶

  15. 15
    Sebastian says:

    Folks, look, what did you expect? The walls are closing in, the floor is giving in, and the roof is crushing down.

    Donnie’s MO is to create a bigger scandal as distraction but nothing is bigger than the scandal at hand. He will keep pushing crazy buttons and let’s hope someone keeps his tiny fingers from the big button.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    Meanwhile, famine in NK. This is a diversion… I see no ‘good guys’ anywhere.

  17. 17
    Immanentize says:

    My cousin in a now-retired Coast Guard Commander who spent his career travelling the world investigating shipping accidents. Yes, our Cost Guard investigates shipping accidents involving any US flagged vessel. But the cool thing about my cousin is that his last name is “Fish.” Commander Fish is a seaworthy name indeed.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We talking lend-lease? Permanent bequest? Relocating an entire franchise and renaming them the Pyongyang ICBMS?

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HAH A

    Strange request, though

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Strange guy.

  20. 20
    Wayne Marks says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is Trump creating a diversion. The footsteps are getting closer. Tic toc, Donny, tic toc.

  21. 21
    Chyron HR says:

    Rock on, coal dust dotard.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I still have my copy of The Economist with his Dad on the cover.

  23. 23
    jonas says:

    Well, I’m sure our level-headed president and his experienced, knowledgeable advisers will handle this responsibly and not use it as a pretext to escalate….oh shit we’re fucked.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    @Wayne Marks:

    Speaking of the footsteps getting closer. The NY State Senate just passed a bill to allow the same US Congressional chairs identified in Federal statute to access NY State income tax returns.

    Not a thing Steve Mnuchin can do about that one. :-)

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    This fvckin’ guy.

    Taking his previous statements even further, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told lawmakers Tuesday that he is not obligated to combat climate change because there is no law requiring that he do so.

    Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) pressed the newly confirmed agency chief on how he views his role in fighting the global warming crisis during a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. “Isn’t this your job?” she asked.

    Bernhardt responded by noting that there are over 600 instances in the law directing the Interior Department secretary to do certain things, including completing reports and making certain authorizations, but, he said, there is no such mandate for addressing planetary warming.

    “You know what there’s not is a shall for ‘I shall manage the land to stop climate change,’ or something similar to that,” he said, pointing the finger at Congress.

    “You guys come up with the shalls,” he added.

    Pingree swung back at Bernhardt’s assertion that he is not legally required to take any action to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

    “If there’s something legally stopping you, we’re Congress,” she said. “We make the laws. Let us know. We’ll work on that for you.”

    Link: https://www.hcn.org/articles/climate-desk-interior-chief-blames-congress-for-his-inaction-on-climate-change?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

  26. 26
    germy says:

    If I were a cornered animal in the White House right now, starting a war with Iran might sound like a solution— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) May 8, 2019

  27. 27
    germy says:

    North Korea test fired a couple more missiles overnight. Approximate range of 260 miles.

    They’re just screwing with Trump at this point.

    — Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) May 9, 2019

  28. 28

    @Adam L Silverman: They just wanted it for the birds and mustard.

  29. 29

    @Cacti: Surprised it took this long actually.
    Would this have anything to do with NY clearing out some of those useless “Democrats” in Albany last election?

  30. 30
    Haydnseek says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Everything was fine until they went around back and immediately saw that the willow tree was too close to the house.

  31. 31
    gratuitous says:

    But they fell in love. You know, like Tony and Lola in that song “Copacabana.” That ended well, didn’t it?

  32. 32

    The ship, the M/V Wise Honest

    The neural network that writes our news is glitching out again.

    “The US Coast Guard found the contraband during a routine inspection of the Definitely Not Smuggling Cocaine, Dude…”

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    So, who is actually running the shitshow that is our foreign policy? Pompeo, Bolton or Trump?

    Yes?

  34. 34
    Wayne Marks says:

    @Cacti:

    Not a thing Steve Mnuchin can do about that one. :-)

    Quite so, Cacti. He can’t run from the NY AG. Well, I guess he could, but he’d have to leave the country forever, which may be his back up plan, but they’ll almost certainly seize his assets, so he’d better hope Vlad has a nice dacha for him.

  35. 35
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sebastian:

    Donnie’s MO is to create a bigger scandal as distraction but nothing is bigger than the scandal at hand.

    Stop jinxing us.

  36. 36
    Millard Filmore says:

    @rikyrah:

    COAL?
    Muthaphuckin’ COAL?

    North Korea is on the trailing edge of many technologies.

  37. 37
    Ohio Mom says:

    @trollhattan: This makes me think we need a new secretary position specifically for mitigating climate change. That would prevent anyone else suffering the sort of confusion that has overtaken Bernhardt.

  38. 38
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    routine inspection of the Definitely Not Smuggling Cocaine, Dude…

    So Mitch McConnell is involved too?

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    Ahead of U.S.-China trade talks, Xi writes ‘a beautiful letter’ to Trump

    Kim Jong gave Xi the keys to Trump’s chastity belt.

  40. 40
    Keith P. says:

    Trump orders the boat returned (with barnacles scrubbed off) in 3…2…1.

  41. 41
    Geeno says:

    @John Revolta: It has a great deal to do with that actually

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump says John Kerry ‘should be prosecuted’ for meetings with Iranian officials

    The daily descent into Nazi Germany continues.

    Trump on Thursday said former secretary of state John F. Kerry should be prosecuted for discussing the Iran nuclear deal with officials from that country after leaving office.

    Trump raised the issue during a freewheeling exchange with reporters after an event on health care at the White House, accusing Kerry of telling Iranian officials not to speak with members of the Trump administration.

    “I’d like to see — with Iran, I’d like to see them call me,” Trump said. “You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act. And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that. But my people don’t want to do anything that’s — only the Democrats do that kind of stuff, you know? If it were the opposite way, they’d prosecute him under the Logan Act.”

  43. 43
    germy says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    So, who is actually running the shitshow that is our foreign policy? Pompeo, Bolton or Trump?

    Putin.

  44. 44
    Keith P. says:

    @rikyrah: how did we not already give them Dwight Howard and Lonzo?

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    Openly hoping this is a case of Mistaken Identity and that the ship isn’t NK at all, but part of Sea Org. Would at least explain the weird name. (Sister ship, the “Cruise Tom”)

  46. 46
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Keith P.: Whose boat is this?

  47. 47
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @trollhattan: The “Totally NOT A Whacked Out Cult”

  48. 48
    lee says:

    Apparently it was actually seized last year:

    The ship was originally seized from the North Koreans by Indonesian maritime authorities in April 2018 and a US judge in July of that year issued a warrant authorizing the seizure of the ship.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Wayne Marks: I have to disagree with you guys on this. I bet there ARE things the US Treasury can do to impact NY State Government. Just as the ubiquitous US dollar influences the trade of European nations with Iran.
    Just as a for instance, suppose he announces that IRS refunds to NY state residents are being delayed because of actions by the NY State government. It would not even need to be true.

  50. 50
    misterpuff says:

    @rikyrah: Gotta protect those coal miners.

    No Korean is gonna take yer jerbs.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    Heh.One of many, many fine moments.

    “Who’s boat is this boat?”

    How will they teach this clusterfuck in twenty years? Will it be Lost Cause II in the South?

  52. 52
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule: another accusation that is a confession.

  53. 53
    germy says:

    In a normal world, we would ask the WH @PressSec today where US talks with North Korea stand after two successes the president has claimed from them – a halt to NK missile tests and the return of US MIA remains – no longer hold.— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 9, 2019

  54. 54
  55. 55
    germy says:

    NORTH KOREA: “The recent drill conducted by our army is nothing more than part of the regular military training…” https://t.co/zjCkUiR4JY— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 8, 2019

  56. 56
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @trollhattan: ☹️ I messed up the quote. I usually don’t use the same noun twice in a question; it’s unneeded. “Whose wombat is this kangaroo?”

  57. 57
    Raoul says:

    Entirely off topic, but I’m impressed. Sherrod Brown’s official twitter account is swearing mad at a major US employer. Cool!

    @SenSherrodBrown

    Shame on @Delta for this condescending bullshit. A gaming system can’t give you:
    ✔️ fair wages
    ✔️ health care benefits
    ✔️ job security
    ✔️ retirement benefits

    And apparently, @Delta doesn’t want to either.

  58. 58
    Bill Arnold says:

    @catclub:

    Just as a for instance, suppose he announces that IRS refunds to NY state residents are being delayed because of actions by the NY State government.

    That would not be wise. DJT and the Rs have already seriously pissed off a bunch of upper middle class and rich New Yorkers by raising their taxes because the state voted for HC in 2016. And money is speech, or oppo research or …

  59. 59
    humboldtblue says:

    The Coast Guard provided the rescue flotilla (some 80 or so cutters) on D-Day and the coxswains in nearly every landing craft were Coast Guard personnel as well. The Coasties lost 15 members on D-Day.

    They are an extraordinary outfit and they play an outsized role here on the North Coast when it comes to search and rescue and emergency mutual aid.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    James E Powell says:

    @catclub:

    Just as a for instance, suppose he announces that IRS refunds to NY state residents are being delayed because of actions by the NY State government. It would not even need to be true.

    Please, don’t give them any ideas.

  62. 62
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @humboldtblue: One of the most famous photos of D-Day was taken by a Coast Guard photographer.

  63. 63
    Martin says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump on Thursday said former secretary of state John F. Kerry should be prosecuted for discussing the Iran nuclear deal with officials from that country after leaving office.

    HARRIS: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no, please, sir.

  64. 64
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    But, but, but Kim and Pussy Grabber fell in love. This must be a mistake.

  65. 65
    humboldtblue says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    Yes!

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    He’s doing a very fine good job dragging us down to his level, a low level that is truly very deeply low.

  67. 67
    trollhattan says:

    Because of course they did.

    The White House misspelled the Red Sox as “Red Socks” on its website ahead of today’s visit.

  68. 68

    @Mike in Pasadena: These little spats happen with young love.

  69. 69
    chopper says:

    @trollhattan:

    like this administration thinks “shall” in a law means anything at all. please.

  70. 70
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The May 9 commemoration in the FSU countries that I’ve mentioned is called “Victory Day” or, more literally, “Day of Victory.” People often refer to it as “Day of Victory Over Nazism” or “Day of Victory Over Fascism.” So I saw on a Ukrainian news channel’s Twitter a picture of a guy at a rally in Kyiv holding up a sign saying (in Russian) “Day of Victory of Kolyma Over Buchenwald.” Oof!

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    I do kind of love how the Trumpers insist on insulting their own supporters and defenders just to prove that they’re bootlickers.

  72. 72

    @TenguPhule:

    The daily descent into Nazi Germany continues.

    Trump talks about who he wishes he could prosecute all the time. He tried to get Hillary and Obama locked up as soon as he entered the White House, only to find out the law does not work that way. Yes, this is disgusting, but it’s continuing the same level of Nazi Germany, not descending further.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Trump talks about who he wishes he could prosecute all the time.

    This is precisely the problem.

    Its become a normalized event. Even 12 years ago it would have been a major scandal.

    He tried to get Hillary and Obama locked up as soon as he entered the White House, only to find out the law does not work that way.

    But now Barr is AG, not the craven coward Sessions.

  74. 74
    West of the Rockies says:

    Awesome… An incompetent administration run by a mentally unwell bonehead has seized the ship of a despotic leader intent on proving his strength.

  75. 75
    Chyron HR says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Someone seized an American ship, too?

  76. 76
    ThresherK says:

    @West of the Rockies: Heh. Part of me is wondering if we can switch the object and subject in that sentence yet not change its meaning.

  77. 77
    Raven says:

    I was about a mile south of the DMZ when they took the Pueblo on Jan, 23 1968. Two days before that they launched the “Blue House Raid” with a 30 man commando team that came right through our AO. We had very little information about what was up as we moved out into the field with nothing but a basic load for our 105’s and small arms. If they had come across the Z we were fucked. Same as it ever was.

  78. 78
    Groucho48 says:

    @Immanentize:

    After he retired, did he get a job at NYC’s 12th Precinct?

  79. 79
    germy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    My jaw hit the floor, when Donald Trump's ambassador to Hungary told me: "I can tell you, knowing the president for a good 25 or 30 years, that he would love to have the situation that Viktor Orbán has." https://t.co/U8ibnOVcgw— Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer) May 9, 2019

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @Chyron HR: Fuck LBJ!

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    Civil asset forfeiture has gone too far.

    @Chyron HR: Win!

    @raven: Excellent.

  82. 82
    ThresherK says:

    @Chyron HR: It’s nice to come here and realize I’m in good company. Great minds, etc…

  83. 83
    Luigidaman says:

    “Unwitting US banks?! Who wrote this PR piece? There are no unwitting US banks.

  84. 84
    Wayne Marks says:

    @catclub: Respectfully, you’re wrong. Trump would never do anything to piss off Wall St.

  85. 85
    Chyron HR says:

    @Wayne Marks:

    You mean (((Wall St.)))? Bet he would.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Wayne Marks:

    Trump would never do anything to piss off Wall St.

    Like accidentally lead the US into a trade war?

    Never is a long time.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump on Thursday said former secretary of state John F. Kerry should be prosecuted for discussing the Iran nuclear deal with officials from that country after leaving office.

    Trump raised the issue during a freewheeling exchange with reporters after an event on health care at the White House, accusing Kerry of telling Iranian officials not to speak with members of the Trump administration….

    “You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act. And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that. But my people don’t want to do anything that’s — only the Democrats do that kind of stuff, you know? If it were the opposite way, they’d prosecute him under the Logan Act.”

    Trump is easy to read with respect to some things. He is consistent. He never changes, and is always on the offensive.

    So,

    1. Trump is innocent of everything. Some Democrat is always guilty of … something. He deflects from his own misdeeds and reverses a case against him into a case against an enemy. And someone is always an enemy.

    2. Trump has discarded democracy and the rule of law. Punishment and favor are delivered by “his people.”

    3. Trump knows that the press are saps who will eat up his every word, no matter how empty or inconsistent, without push-back or challenge because they so desperately want access to him.

  88. 88

    @Baud: First Cole and next the mustard.

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    Trust The Base

    ……………
    Because of all this, people of color are the best judge of today’s politicians. Their lived experiences have put them in constant contact with White people, some of whom have been genuine and some of whom have been fake and insincere. People of color are keenly aware of when they are being pandered too. When a White person sees them are a token friend of color, they are offended and rightfully so. People of color know when someone is trying to take advantage of them. It’s in their DNA. A person of color in America today knows when he or she is being used for political gain. Yes, there are some who willingly allow themselves to be taken advantage of but by and large, the overwhelming majority of people of color see through these ruses. They know exactly what someone’s intentions are and often know those intentions better than the person themselves.

    The 2020 election will come down to what kind of future we want for our country. The republic as we know is fractured, but not fully broken. What 2016 has taught us is that we have 1/3 of the country who is perfectly content with White supremacy, a number that has always been there but has now become emboldened to say it publicly for the very first time. When people of color say their lives are at stake, their lives are actually at stake. Over 3,000 people of color are dead in Puerto Rico. Children remain in cages. People of color continue to be shot by White police officers who fail to receive repercussions for their actions. Access to safe, affordable health care which primarily benefits women of color is being threatened. Trans men and women are being denied an opportunity to serve their country. Tribal lands are being stripped and sold off to the highest bidder. And the act of voting, seen as the great equalizer throughout our country’s history for marginalized groups, is being stripped down and eroded by a Republican Party that wants to pick its voters rather than have the voters pick their leaders.

    People of color know what’s on the line now. They knew what was on the line in 2016 when 94% of women of color voted for Hillary Clinton. Despite the fact that candidates of color, especially women, will never have equal media access that should not discourage us from hearing their views. At the end of the day, people of color will be the ones who end up electing the 2020 Democratic candidate for president. They are the only ones who saw through the great conman of 2016 and they are the only ones who aren’t buying what the media is already selling in 2019. They know who is genuine and who is pandering. They know who is actually fighting for them rather than mouthing the words. They know, once again, that the future of our republic rests at the ballot box and America absolutely cannot get this wrong a second time. If we do, that idea of liberty and justice for some has the potential to become liberty and justice for none by 2024.

  90. 90

    @Adam L Silverman: Told him that there would be consequences if the willow was too close to the house.

  91. 91
    Amir Khalid says:

    @trollhattan:
    Only this White House could make such a mistake: an erroneously correct spelling.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Wayne Marks:

    Respectfully, you’re wrong. Trump would never do anything to piss off Wall St.

    Trump doesn’t care about Wall Street. He threw corporations a big bone when he gave corporations tax cuts. They will chew on that one for a long time. Meanwhile, Trump’s tariffs may hurt companies and consumers. His trade policy is incoherent. He is still trying to actively subvert the Federal Reserve. Even though this kind of thing is bad for the economy in the long term, Wall Street figures that they can absorb the shock. And even if Trump is a total disaster, Republicans will guarantee a bail out.

    It’s win-win.

  93. 93
    oatler. says:

    Looks like Junior is drinking a fifth of Amendment Whiskey.

  94. 94

    @rikyrah: Abso-fucking-lutely!

    Though, I’d also add that trans men and women are also actively having their rights stripped away, as well as their access to necessary healthcare. Yes, our lives, and the lives of many others is literally on the line.

  95. 95
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @oatler.: Oddly, there are nearly as many Google hits for “18th Amendment Whiskey” as there are for “21st Amendment Whiskey.” Both seem to be viable brands.

  96. 96
    J R in WV says:

    @raven:

    Fuck LBJ!

    Quoted for Truth!

  97. 97
    NotMax says:

    Presume, Adam, you’ve seen this. (emphasis added).

    A week after Rick Scott called for the U.S. military to intervene in Venezuela amid Juan Guaidó’s attempt to oust Nicolás Maduro from power, the U.S. Senate’s biggest hawk on Venezuela is calling for more.

    Scott said Wednesday that the U.S. should consider a naval blockade of Cuba to enforce existing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry, which remains under Maduro’s control. Scott’s announcement is the latest escalation in rhetoric after Guaidó failed to oust Maduro last week.

    “It’s clear that the United States needs to consider using naval assets to block the flow of oil between the two dictatorships,” Scott said. “The president has floated the idea of a full embargo on Cuba.….” Source

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: That was an excellent, though disturbing article, on what is going on in Hungary. Just an FYI: our current ambassador to Hungary is 80 years old and was nominated by the President because he’s an Orthodox Jewish diamond and jewelry merchant who has been selling the President jewelry for the past three decades. His only connection to Hungary is that his mother was from there before fleeing to the United States to escape a nationalistic, anti-semitic, authoritarian government. Some people, like Ambassador Cornstein, never learn anything.

  99. 99
    dimmsdale says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Yeah, that was my thought too. (Unless your train of thought was going somewhere other than “Just another example of Trump using our presidency to make a bunch of money for his insider buddies, in this case perhaps Mrs. Mitch McConnell’s dad’s Chinese shipping company, which would only be too happy to jump into this newly vacated market niche and make bank, and you know perfectly well what’ll happen to all the ‘eek, violating sanctions’ talk when they do.”)

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: He never listens!

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I did. A Naval blockage is an act of war. We will not be blockading Cuba. Scott isn’t very smart, he is very good at pandering to key constituencies. In this case really old Cuban Americans in Miami.

  102. 102
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Are there still enough of them to matter?

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Unfortunately. The generational split is around those in their mid to late 40s.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A Naval blockage is an act of war. We will not be blockading Cuba.

    You seem to think Trump cares about legal issues.

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