Venezuela and the support for a Democracy

Politician and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the legitimate president of Venezuela on Jan. 23, 2019.

That same day, President Donald Trump declared he and his administration fully recognized him as the legitimate president, giving him the support of the most powerful and influential nation in the world, the United States. The European nations quickly followed Trump’s lead. This backing gave the new president an immense amount of legitimacy in the global theatre.

Overthrowing the previous president/dictator Maduro is a good goal in which to have. However, having two “presidents” in the same country presents escalating conflict that is bound to happen.

Giving legitimacy to a man claiming the presidency creates inevitable tension that will only escalate onto the people of Venezuela. So although it may appear as fitting for democratic nations to support a democratic leader, the repercussions of such actions should be taken into consideration.  

A country should examine the consequences of decisions even if it’s of granting legitimacy. The question is, then, should the U.S. even intervene in the situation in Venezuela.

On Feb. 8, 2019, Trump slapped oil sanctions onto the Venezuelan government. Venezuelan exports of oil to the U.S. provide the biggest source of cash for Maduro’s government. Once the sanctions were implemented, funding for the government plummeted by 40 percent.

When the government owns most everything and controls everything in the economy, the people are the ones who suffer from these sanctions. The Venezuelan economy was bad before, and with the sanctions, their main source of revenue is now halted.

The U.S. should also consider foreign intervention. It is widely accepted that countries such as China and Russia have been in support of Maduro and his administration. If European countries and the U.S. backed away from the situation in Venezuela, superpowers such as China and Russia will continue to support the dictatorship, and the revolution will have little chance of success.

Along with this, Russia and China would ally themselves with potentially one of the richest countries in the world. But if left alone without U.S. or European support, the revolution will have a small margin of success, which will only prolong the terrible dictatorship.

The American Revolution could not have been won without the support of the French to the Americans. Their help came in the form of military technology, arms, men, supplies, ships and a granting of status on at the global level. The U.S. could be Venezuela’s “France.” With that in mind, each step should be taken into careful consideration, for the implications of a misstep could lead to a war not only in Venezuela.