What Will Happen To Venezuelan Oil? – With Ken Blackwell: What is the American approach as we deal with the fallout in Venezuela and how should the Trump Administration deal with this difficult situation? Tune in now to learn more as Ken Blackwell joins us in this discussion!
Air Date: 12/09/2019
Guest: Ken Blackwell
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
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We Have Special Guest Ken Blackwell Today
Alright, guys, Ken Blackwell will be with us a little later in the program, of course, friend of the program and former Secretary of State there in Ohio, also ambassador to the Human Rights Commission and also part of the Trump team going into 2020.
But this is going to be a topic, I don’t think we’ve ever covered on the program and that is Venezuelan oil and the American approach to how to deal with the fallout of Venezuela falling apart right now. Because apparently a lot of American companies still do have assets over there and are able to import from Venezuela. And or I guess not only import but American companies that are able to, you know, still, take all over there and sell it around the world. And you know the question today is going to be should we allow for that when we’re sanctioning Venezuela as well and how does the Trump administration deal with this very difficult situation?
The Turmoil Going On In Venezuela
Well, when you look at oil and energy, I mean that is a world asset, I don’t mean an asset in that sense, but it is a world playing pin when it comes to strategic power. Somebody is going to want that oil, somebody is going to want to use it and depends on who wants to use it and what they want to do with it is whether that’s good or bad.
So with the turmoil going on in Venezuela, this is a massive, massive national resource that really is going to be up for play. I mean somebody wants to have a piece of this. I don’t know that the Venezuelans themselves with all they’ve got going on are capable of handling it because of all the internal turmoil that’s there.
I mean there’s so many factions and so many people fighting to be in power and this would probably become a pawn and that would have an impact on the global economy. But even more so, if somebody were to get in there and be able to take and make it into a resource they could use, this could be a pretty good shift of power.
It has International Strategic ImplicationsÂ
So this really has international strategic implications which means it actually has American strategic implications, because you don’t want to see another power become a world power in the wrong way and have the wrong philosophy and have this much asset.
And I’ve got to say, Rick with you, we’ve never done a program on this. I mean, usually, we’re looking at stuff around us and we don’t think of Venezuela and you know, the place is kind of burning down in many ways right now. It’s the poster child or how socialism doesn’t work and we look at that but we don’t really think of what is its impact on America.
Does It Involve A Shift In Power In The International Sense?
Venezuela goes under, it’s not like a poor nation going under, a some Pacific island nation or something else going under, you’re talking about a nation going under that’s got massive natural resources. And if that happens, how does that affect the global market and if so, how does that affect the American market? And does it involve any kind of a shift of power in the international scene? And those are all things worth thinking about and we’ve just never looked at Venezuela from that standpoint before.
Well and a great guy to talk to about it is Ken Blackwell. Of course, we’ve known Ken for a long time. David, you’ve worked with him on, you know, his elections back in the day, to his involvement across the country as a spokesman for good constitutional positions.
Yeah, exactly right. I’ve known him since back in his days when he was a state official and in Ohio when he was the Secretary of State and running for governor, I went in and did some events for him and help campaign with him, thought he’s a great guy and still think he’s a great guy. He’s a very wise guy, he has a lot of credentials. I mean, he’s served in national and international positions. He’s now a trusted adviser with President Trump and others. So he’s got a lot of good perspective on this and because of his international position even as a diplomat, he has a really good perspective.
Ken And General Boykin Got Together Talking About Venezuela
And so we recently saw an article where that he and General Boykin got together talking about Venezuela and what’s happening, naturally sources, he go, to wait a minute”¦ General Boykin is an American general, he’s a three-star general, why does he care about Venezuela?
That’s because he was head in the intelligence community for so long. And as a strategic thinker, you start thinking about what assets could our enemies use against us? And so in the intelligence community, this is a big issue to him as well. So of those two folks, they’re both very good friends of WallBuilders and we thought, well let’s talk to Ken about it because it really was an intriguing article they put out with the perspective we just don’t think about much as Americans.
Ken Blackwell, our special guest, stay with us. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
Hey friends, Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton, what all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution? They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.
In fact, if you go to my website right now today at rickgreen.com, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at front side or Larry Elder training the front side or Tim Barton and myself training out there front side. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you’re ready and able to do that. It is a fantastic place to train. They train literally 30,000-40,000 people a year and they’re just wonderful to work with. And you can go with us, we’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family.
And if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you, it’s actually going to cost you one-tenth the normal price to attend this two-day handgun training because you’re going with us and you’ll also get the Constitution crash course. I’ll be teaching on the constitution. You”ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution as well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family. And this is for everyone: guys, gals, everyone should take this class. For no matter how much you shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family.
We’re going to be going several times throughout the year and we would love to have you be a part of that. Check out rickgreen.com today to find out the dates and all the specifics and getting all of your questions answered. Check out rickgreen.com today to join us on this front sight trip for both your constitutional and your handgun defense training.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today, Ken Blackwell back with us. He’s senior fellow for human rights and constitutional governance, the Family Research Council, former mayor Cincinnati, former Secretary of State in Ohio, former ambassador of the Human Rights Commission, lots of great things in there. Ken, always good to have you, brother. Thanks for some time today.
Always good to be with you guys.
It Makes Little Sense To Allow A Global Energy Asset To Fall In The Hands Of Russia And China
Hey, you and our buddy General Boykin had a great article on Venezuela. I learned a lot reading this, Ken, I got to tell you. I didn’t realize the US was as involved in the oil industry there in Venezuela as we have been and that we’ve been trying to thread the needle here with the chaos to keep this thing from falling totally into Russian and Chinese hands. So thank you for the article, first of all, educated me. Give us a quick summary of why you felt this was important enough to speak out on right now.
Well, look there is an estimated 300 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Venezuela with an estimated value well into the trillions of dollars. It makes little sense to allow a global energy asset to fall in the hands of Russia and China and believe me, they are interested in acquiring this asset.
They Could Be A Serious Threat To US National Security
So if America’s energy industry is forced to vacate Venezuela, it leaves the fractured nationwide open to become a Russian or Chinese puppet state or assets and that would then much better position them to be a serious threat to the US national security.
So while the House Democrats are running around with a sham impeachment process that is being driven by politics and conjuncture, the reality is that the President of the United States and his team is focusing hand on a number or real national security matters as they also continue to drive this economy to record performance and good job opportunities in front on more and more Americans.
Venezuela’s Massive Roles or Reserves Are An Important Global Energy Asset
One fact is clear, Venezuela’s massive roles or reserves are an important global energy asset and are vital to America’s energy security. Russia and China are doing everything they can to keep a disastrous dictator in power so they can gain access to our hemisphere and eventually control of the oil in Venezuela. America cannot allow this looming threat to national security to advance and our president is this focus like a laser beam on this potential threat.
You know you put it into great perspective, I mean obviously, the, you know, the news cycle is dominated by as you said these sham impeachment hearings. And you know, it makes it difficult to see that, I mean there are major real-world serious crisis situations going on that the President needs to be focused on and dealing with, this being one of them. He’s pretty good at being able to handle even this kind of thing when the chaos is going on and over in the house.
And this is a difficult one because you know, obviously, we don’t want a reward, you know, the socialist dictator there. We have to, as I said, thread the needle here and you feel like Trump is doing a good job of that at this point.
American Energy Companies Have Become A Lifeline For Many Venezuelans
Absolutely. You know, we need to avoid the scenario that I have described and this scenario can be averted if team Trump continues to allow American energy companies ongoing permission to operate in Venezuela. American energy companies have become a lifeline for many Venezuelans still living and working there. The Trump administration has so far permitted American energy operations to remain on line and it’s my view and General Boykin”s view that this should continue. Because we can’t imagine the world’s largest supplier recoverable oil falling into the hands of or Russia or China.
Ken Blackwell is our special guest, stay with us, folks, we got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
America’s Hidden Heroes
Hi, this is David Barton and this is Tim Barton. We want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday nights. Now TBN is a Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History. In this season, it’s called America’s Hidden Heroes. The reason is we highlight heroes from American history for years. We’ve been focusing on the forgotten history heroes of the nation and now we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location, we go to the site, we show you where the events happen and it’s a story of folks like Bronco Charlie and Stagecoach Mary and Jedediah Smith and Robert Smalls and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night and the time is going to be different based on where you live, either way. We think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you and learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
The Sanctions On VenezuelaÂ
We’re back on WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. Ken Blackwell our special guest, we’re talking about the oil in Venezuela and the whole chaos there with the breakdown, the failure of socialism of course because it always fails. But what now, how do we deal with this massive amount of assets in terms of the oil and whether or not Russia and China are going to be able to take it over and how Trump can thread the needle on these policies?
And the way this works if I understand it right, the sanctions on Venezuela affect what the socialist dictator is able to do but still allow for these American companies to be a pipeline to these individuals out there. How”¦
The 90-Day Waiver
Bingo. I mean, you got it. You know, again the Trump administration has taken an important step and recently renewed another 90-day waiver allowing American energy companies permission to operate in Venezuela. If, you know, American energy activity ceases in Venezuela, those American assets can easily be seized by Maduro”s operatives and delivered right into the hands of Russians or the Chinese.
That doesn’t just include buildings, equipment, infrastructure that American companies spent decades and developing, but the energy industry employees as well. And so the people who rely on American investment to sustain their families in Venezuela understands the importance of this continued American involvement and this continues permission by the Trump administration.
We Don’t Want To Overextend The American Footprint
You’re right, we, in fact, don’t want to, you know, overextend the American footprint. We don’t want to be accused meddling in a dysfunctional state, but we have legitimate and real national security interests. We, in fact, have a humanitarian basis upon which to continue our involvement and that is that we can be of help to those Venezuelans that have stayed there or been trapped there but who in fact have jobs working in these American oil asset.
Yeah. Ken, before I let you go, always a pleasure to have you on and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to get your take on the impeachment and just DC in general right now and Trump’s ability to be reelected in 2020. You know, you’ve been attacked by the Left, you’ve been somewhat in his shoes in terms of them coming after you and when you were doing some of the great things you did in Ohio. So what do you think right now when you talk to people and you travel the country, I mean what’s your feel on the media firestorm versus the grassroots out there that based on the rallies I’m seeing, you know, is still behind Trump.
Â This Impeachment Sham
Look, we sent Trump to be a disrupter of a stale dysfunctional status quo and he has delivered. And as a consequence, it should not surprise anyone that the political establishment, NDC, the swamp is reacting with a vengeance.
But as we crisscross the country and we talk to those folks beyond the Beltway, what we’re hearing is that this impeachment sham is backfiring on the Democrats and they are only empowered because there were 40 Democrats who won in districts that have been in states that have been carried by Trump. They are now at risk because of this Fantasyland, you know, sham Nancy Pelosi and shifty-shift, you know, are running.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s good to hear, man. I mean, you know that’s why I wanted to ask you because it”s kind of what I feel in my gut, but it’s like, you know, I’m curious about what your take is and so you”re feeling, seeing the same thing. I mean especially those districts that were so close, they’re really where Republican districts that went the other way in the midterm, you know, those are in jeopardy as they continue. Because most average Americans going, they just seems to not be any they’re there.
The Senate Will Dismiss This Sham For What It Is
Absolutely. And look, the so-called witnesses as they have advanced today, most of those have not had any first-hand knowledge of the so-called conversation. And it has become obvious that the Democrats, the House Democrats are running this sham by opinion polls, they were test and so is, you know, now the words of choices, bribery. Well, nobody has been able to prove that there has not even a hint of a bribe.
You know, so this is absolutely crazy, but it all comes down to turnout. And I think the Senate will dismiss this sham for what it is and then those of us who want to reward the president and his team for doing the job that we sent them into the swamp to do, we need to turn out our votes, with that, we need to concentrate neighbor to neighbor, church member to church member, family member to family member, we need to turn out our vote.
We Have To Reward This President For A Job Well Done
Yeah, no doubt. Nice thing before I let you go because you mentioned, you know, the whole you know call and what they’re trying to make it sound. Look, you understand the Constitution like I do and the executives job and everything I read in this transcript sounded to me like the president do one was doing what the president is supposed to do.
You’ve been an ambassador, you understand these international negotiations and all the different ways we have to deal with other countries, I just can’t understand why everybody is”¦ even if he did everything they claimed he did, it seems to me he was doing what a president does every day with other countries.
You’re absolutely right, brother. Look, let me just tell you. This guy has not only gotten to the $3 trillion that was on the fence offshore headed back into our country, growing our economy, but he”s also started us down the path for rebuilding our military. He”s made sure that we have a laser focus on those American interests that are truly the concerns of folks outside of Washington DC. Again, as we both have said we have to reward this president for his job well done.
Yeah. Amen. Amen. Alright, let’s turn it out, let’s get people busy. Frc.org, you can read all the Ken Blackwell’s articles there, Ken, always a pleasure, brother, we’ll look forward to having you back soon.
Stay with us folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton
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We Should Allow For Some Maneuvering For US Companies
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Special thanks to Ken Blackwell for joining us on today’s program as well. We’re back with David and Tim Barton.
Guys, again, a new topic for us as far as covering here on the program and not an easy one. I mean, this is required as I said of you know threading the needle for the Trump administration, but it sounds like in Ken’s opinion, of course, General Boykin, another one that we greatly respect in their article together, that the President’s doing all they can and that we should allow for some maneuvering here for US companies.
Yeah, one of the things we talked about in previous programs, we’ve looked at Ukraine and Poland and other areas that don’t have their own natural resources and they have to get their energy from Russia. And so in talking, as Tim and I were in Poland talking with some of the national leaders there, I mean, they’re quick to point out that, look, it’s cold winters in Poland and we don’t have natural resources here like natural gas or oil, we have to get that from Russia. And if we take Russia off, we got a lot of people freezing to death.
Having A Waiver For American Oil Companies Is Good
And so a lot of their international policy even for very strong NATO allies like Ukraine and like Poland, I mean they’re really the mercy of folks like Russia.
And so if Russia gets even more control of oil and energy, that enables them to serve if and I use that with air quotes, enables them to serve and offer services to other nations who are then beholden to them and allows the Russians to pull more and more strings and they’re certainly not friendly to America from an international standpoint.
I mean they’re seen as competitors, they consider themselves that which is why they meddle in our elections, they want to create turmoil here.
So from the standpoint of what we see even with other nations, it really does illustrate why what’s going on in Venezuela right now is significant and why having a waiver of a lion American oil companies to stay in there despite what we’ve got with other sanctions, having that waiver from American oil companies really is good.
They Had Such A Quick Downturn
And Rick, you got into several things with Ken, even regarding the President with elections. But one of the things that was not necessarily brought up, although we’ve talked about it before and I think it’s worth pointing out is Venezuela, a nation with so many really strong natural resources, it’s interesting that they are such a good example of a nation that can be the top of the world and I mean, back in the 90s, right, they were one of the wealthiest nations in the world, standard of living was incredible. And just after a few poor political decisions, mostly involving embracing socialism, they had such a quick downturn.
Who Are The Ones That Benefit From This
And even though it wasn’t the point of the interview with Ken and we can’t go back and cover some more of those details, I do think it’s worth noting that even though there is still a fight over kind of who some of those natural resources are going to go to by fight, not certainly a physical altercation, but right that’s still trying to determine what nations are going to be the players in this, which is why as Americans we do care who are going to be the ones that benefit from this.
And in the midst of this, it’s interesting that still when you have so many natural resources, you still can have so much devastation and so much poverty and so many issues in your nation and yet this is kind of where they live and you really wouldn’t think of Venezuela as being an impactful piece when it comes to America and certainly not to President Trump for presidential elections. But it’s interesting perspective that Ken provided and certainly, the article has more about how this could be something that is more significant and a lot of people recognize when it comes to their influence and what can happen for America.
It Will Be Voter Turnout That Determines This
I mean that”s right, Venezuela is got a lot of implications for us and by the way, there”re implications on the election as well. And Ken covered a lot of the things at stake in the election. And one of the things he points out is how that it will be voter turnout that determines this and we need to make sure our friends know what’s going on because in so many areas these are not the kind of stories that the national media is going to cover or even talk about. And President Trump who’s been very good at saying we’re not going to get embroiled and the disputes of other nations, yet he has been really good at doing America first and this is one of those America first things that really does help our citizens.
And so we need to do everything we can to just keep word out there about what actually is happening, what the news is not covering in what the right perspective is and that will certainly help with the reelection of President Trump.
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