Sunday, May 12, 2019

The land of Libertador of South America (Simon Bolivar) does not need external liberation.

Juan Guaido, the self proclaimed President of Venezuela, is openly establishing contact with Pentagon and reaching out to US Southern Command for intervention. This is an invitation for US military intervention.

This is an unwise and dangerous move, since it will harden the stand of Chavistas and military people who distrust the US military role in Venezuela. Guaido will be seen as an American puppet. Even the Americans will kick him around since they see him as their own creation. 

Guaido is more of a creation of US, unlike his other opposition colleagues who are veterans in the last fifteen years fighting the Chavista dictatorship. His claim to Presidency is as dubious as Maduro’s. He was never elected as President. He claims that Maduro’s election in May 2018 was rigged and therefore he got the right to become President.
Latin America has seen many such dramas in its history. The most recent example was in Mexico in 2006. After Felipe Calderon was elected as President with a very narrow margin, the loser Obrador refused to accept the result claiming irregularities in the election process. He had declared himself as the legitimate President and caused all kinds of problems for Calderon for the next six months. His supporters stopped the formal ceremony of Presidential assumption of power which had to be done privately. Obrador’s followers blocked traffic in the main roads of Mexico city and paralysed the government and normal life for several weeks.
Maduro’s regime would have imploded sooner or later due to the grave economic and social crisis which got worsened with the US sanctions. But the entry of Bolton in the issue with his arrogant and crude bravado has caused complication. He has freightened the thousands of Chavistas and military people who would have otherwise changed sides. They do not trust Bolton who has a history of sabotaging negotiations and favouring a shock and awe war or something equally brutal.

Guaido should learn from US military interventions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. 
Since Bolton’s threats and bluffs have failed, he is now going after Cuba with more sanctions and lifting of the ban on law suits against Cuba for reclamation of confiscated assets. This has hurt the European companies which do lot of business with Cuba, free of any competition from US companies. So the Europeans have woken up. The Spanish foreign minister called Trump's policy on Cuba and Venezuela as " acting like a cowboy" and criticised Washington's lifting of the ban on law suits against Cuba as " abuse of power". Till this, the Spanish blindly followed Trump's abuse of power to try for regime change in Venezuela and joined the European chorus of recognition of Maduro. The Spanish and the Europeans thought it was a cost-free way to please Trump by recognising Guaido. In any case, Maduro was not defensible. But now that the Cuba suits are going to hurt Spanish and European business interests, they are calling for negotiations to resolve the Venezuelan crisis. Mexico and Uruguay had been advocating this course from the beginning. The head of foreign relations of EU is now talking to some Latin American countries in the Lima group to advance the idea of negotiated solution for the Venezuelan issue.
Besides squeezing Cuba, Bolton is threatening with the military option. But Trump does not want to risk his run for second time by the shedding of American blood in Venezuela. The well armed and corrupt Chavistas and military people will fight for their life and to protect their ill gotten wealth and status. Even the Brazilian Vice President who represents the voice of the military has spoken against US invasion of Venezuela. Most other Latin American as well as European countries would also disapprove of US military boots in Venezuelan soil.
So there is no other option now but to make the two Venezuelan sides to negotiate and find an internal solution. It is interesting to see that the Trump officials have started talking to Cuba and Russia about the Venezuela issue. This is a come down from their earlier warnings to Russia and Cuba to keep their hands off from Venezuela.
Guaido should stop his open invitation to US SouthCom and Pentagon and focus on the Venezuelan military and Chavistas. He should persuade them to collaborate with him in rescuing Venezuela from the disastrous mismanagement of the country. He needs to try harder instead of running to Uncle Unreliable all the time. The land of Libertador of South America (Simon Bolivar) does not need external liberation.

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