As many of you may well know, Nicolas Maduro, the dictator of Venezuela, was inaugurated for a second six-year term mid-January. Then, on January 21st, there was a military revolt in Caracas. Hours later, the revolt was quashed and Maduro remains in power.
It’s a situation that’s been escalating for months. In July of 2018, US President Donald Trump repeatedly suggested to top White House aides a military invasion of Venezuela. Of course, military leaders rejected the idea and convinced him otherwise, citing not just the jungle conditions of the South American country, but also the optics of invading another oil-rich country on a continent where Americans are already not trusted. There was also concerns that many would liken to Vietnam and Cuba, which the US has invaded in the past (technically, Cuba was invaded by exiles backed by the US), and which Venezuela joins them in having jungles and a Communist government (not mention speaking the same language as they do in Cuba and Panama, which was also invaded).
After the death of Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s economy started to go downhill. Then, it collapsed, with it’s currency, the Bolivar (named after Simon Bolivar), becoming essentially worthless.
Since then, Venezuela has endured starvation, widespread unrest and protests, and the previously mentioned economic depression. It also went through a helicopter attack on it’s Supreme Court, an explosion during a military parade, and most recently, a failed revolution.
After the failed coup, opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela. He has been recognized as acting president by numerous heads of state, including US President Donald Trump and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri. In Macri’s statement (according to Argentine newspaper La Nacion), he called Maduro a “disgrace upon democracy” and that the ”community has realized that Maduro is a dictator who looks to perpetuate his power with false elections”.
“Compartimos la preocupacion por venezolanos. Condenamos a la dictadura de Nicolas Maduro. Es una burla a la democracia, un intento de victimizacion de quien es en realidad el victimario. La comunidad ya se dio cuenta: Maduro es un dictador que busca perpetuarse en el poder con elecciones ficticias“Mauricio Macri, the President of Argentina
Argentina (one of the largest recipients of Venezuelan migrants) was joined by Brazil, as newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro also condemned the Maduro regime.
Later on, after Maduro’s government gave the order to expel all American diplomats (they had 72 hours at the time of the order, which was on January 24) from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Trump administration does not recognize “former president” Maduro’s authority and as such will not leave the embassy.
Afterwards, Maduro responded by saying that he would withdraw all embassy and consulate staff from the United States. He remarked “since when do we pick our presidents in Washington?”, hoping to inspire anti-American sentiment in Venezuela. It did not result in any anti-American “Yankee” sentiment, but instead intensified the protests already occurring in the country.
The present situation does not have a foreseeable conclusion, so only time will tell as to the fate of Venezuela.