A note about Thatcher, from someone who lives here, lived through her rule.
She did, I agree, face some sexism, getting into parliament in the 1950's, finally making it in '59.
However, marrying a millionaire who had links in the Tory part sure damn helped.
(Recently, with VE Day 75th anniversary, I am reminded of something that only came up on her death. Unlike the Queen, who as Princess Elizabeth on reaching 18 joined the ATS, a branch of the forces where she maintained military vehicles. The young Margaret Roberts as she was then, must have been the only healthy young woman in WW2 Britain who did not join a branch of the services open to women then doing the many tasks releasing men for fighting, nor work in a factory, nor become a Land Girl for food production. Rather dodged around until university).
Back to topic, these half baked mercs, isn't this a Putin playbook, as seen in Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014? Though I accept many if not all of these were actual serving Russian special forces, these clowns in Venezuela were 'ex'.
It's a question of where any venn diagram with 'ex' and 'on contract' with the US lies.
Whatever you think of Venezuela's government, they and the region have the weight of history and precedence to be very suspicious.
Hence my comparison to the Bay of Pigs at the start.
Moderate social democrat Arbenz, overthrown by US trained proxies in the 1950's, in Guatemala, leading to a string of regimes that were later described, in relation to native tribes, as 'genocidal'.
This was of course during the McCarthyite hysteria in the US.
I can recommend for a sharp, readable account of US foreign policy in the Cold War in particular, in the Caribbean, Red Heat; Conspiracy, Murder, And The Cold War In The Caribbean. by Alex Von Tunzelmann.
Such well known left wing publications as the Financial Times reviewed it 'A sweeping history of US foreign policy in the Caribbean'. Washington Post 'Suitcases full of cash, torture chambers, gunboats, coups, dictatorships and revolutionary fervor all spill from these pages'.
Dictators like Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Somoza in Nicaragua, Armas (who overthrew Arbenz) in Guatemala, Jimenez in Venezuela and even 'Papa Doc' Duvalier in Haiti (Mr Tontons Macoutes and Voodoo, perhaps with his family, the most comprehensive looters of the nation, all enjoyed US support).
How many here even knows that the US invaded Dominica in 1965? Operation Powerpack.
On the creeping use of mercenaries in by the US today, that exploded under Bush in Iraq, well draft dodger hawk Cheney and his Halliburton pals.
I can tell you that they do not enjoy a good reputation with US allies, are seen as cowboys, not under military discipline and control, or proper accountability.
If you haven't got the forces for your war, bring back some selective service draft (and see how popular said conflict remains, even with bumper sticker patriots).