March 19, 2019

Would Venezuela be a `Latin Syria’?

By Sazzad Haider.

The animosity between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and self-declared interim leader Juan Guaidó has been gradually increased and opening a new chapter for Venezuelan crisis following the dramatic come-back of Juan Guido from his overseas trip. Thousands of supporters welcomed Juan Guaidó  at the Caracas airport, while the US and EU diplomats received him as interim president.  Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó says he come back to Venezuela despite the risk of being arrested upon arrival.

Juan Guaidó left the country to attend a fund-raising concert on 22 February in Colombia organized by billionaire Richard Branson despite a ban on his overseas trip by Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Prior his return back, US Vice President Mike Pence warned Venezuelan authority as saying,`the world is watching – Interim President Guaidó  must be allowed to re-enter Venezuela safely.’

Following an opposition boycotted election last year Nicolas Maduro re-elected as President and took oath on January 10, the US and some other countries refused to recognize his government. The leader of opposition dominated National Assembly Juan Guido declared himself interim president and US led countries recognized him.

In the meantime, the first phase of the US President Donald Trump’s `Venezuelan adventure’ has failed as Venezuelan armed forces blocked the US aid convoy and turned them back.

 Since the crisis, the situation in Venezuela has been changed dramatically, Nicolas Madur opposing US aid but welcoming huge Russian humanitarian aid, aiming to mitigate the suffering of the Venezuelan people.  

Nobody believes that President Donald Trump will give his Venezuelan adventure up.  Trump will participate in the next US- presidential election for his second term. If he is able to uproot Nicolas Maduro regime and liberate Venezuelan people, then a feather of success will be added his cap and very logically he can demand the votes from US citizens to re-elect him as president.   

So we have to wait for the second move of the US President Donald Trump’s Venezuelan adventure.  Trump may launch cruse- missiles to tear apart the Venezuelan armed forces. Other option is to start a frontier war with Venezuela from Colombia or Brazil or both and occupy some land for Juan Guido loyalist supports. 

On the otherhand, Russian interference puts the Venezuelan crisis in a new light. Russian `food aid’ has proved that Putin’s blessing of President Nicolas Maduro is higher than before.

`US aid’ or `Russian aid’ to Venezuela becomes totally highly politicized.  Those highly politicized aid could do a little to mitigate the suffering of `non-partisan’ or `non-political’ people of Venezuela. UN has wide responsibility to resolve these food straggle. If UN agencies takes over the responsibly of the distribution of US led aid instead of US-Aid, the aid will be freely entered into Venezuela and create a opportunity of well distribution irrespective of any political influences.

That initiative will promote Russian aid to do so. UN will also be a sponsor of world-wide fund-raising concert for Venezuelan people.  In the mean time, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the only way the political conflict in Venezuela can be resolved is through political dialogue. But this is not enough, UN has to do huge task for alleviation of hunger of Venezuelan people and avoid blood shading.

What is the definition of a failed state?  Does Venezuela deserve this brand? Maybe `yes’ -in the context of good governance, lack of food, gradually deteriorating law & order and lack of democracy. Therefore Donald Trump, the US President would appear before the Venezuelan people as their `liberator’ as did his predecessors in Iraq and Libya. In the aftermath of the US led interventions in Iraq and Libya, the people of both countries realize the meanings of freedom and a failed state.  

Then the US led western countries were crying out for Iran’s weapons of mass destruction or for the democratic rights of the Libyan people or for the economic suffering and hunger of the Venezuelan people. If the Venezuelan people refuse his force-feeding then President Trump might decide to attack the Venezuelan forces. If they succeed in tearing apart the Venezuelan armed forces and overthrowing Nicolas Maduro what next?

President Nicols Maduro is still an iconic leader to the majority of Venezuelans.  Above all, nobody can deny the `Latin mentality’ of the Venezuelan people. So US led intervention will ignite the anti Yankee flames not only in Venezuela but across Brazil, Colombia or other Latin-countries.

But those causes are not enough to stop the USA President Trump’s Venezuelan adventure. Therefore Venezuela is on the verge of a long lasting civil war like Syria. The Venezuelan people have to pay with their blood in exchange for `Trump’s freedom’ or `Trump’s democratic move’ or for obstinacy of President Nicolas Maduro.       

About the author: Mr. Sazzad Haider is Editor & Publisher of The Diplomatic Journal in Bangladesh, diplomatic editor of Bangladesh News, writer & filmmaker. On the picture Sazzad Haider, Photographer Habib Raza.

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