Venezuelasplaining To Venezuelasplainers
Updated: May 11, 2019
Hypothetical… On March 2020, Trump dissolves the Democratic controlled Congress and authorizes the Supreme Court packed with Republican judges to draft laws. In April, he bans the Democratic nominee from running in the November elections so he can win reelection and the Democratic Party refuses to participate in those elections. In August, Trump creates a parallel Congress packed with Republicans and gives them the authority to drafts laws. He easily wins the 2020 elections in a landslide without opposition and is declared president by the Supreme Court, hand-picked by Maduro himself. Would you call this a constitutional coup by Trump? Would you consider Trump a legitimate president?
Well, that is exactly what happened in Venezuela. The coup started in March 2017 when Maduro dissolved the National Assembly and culminated with his unopposed reelection. What is happening right now is not a coup, it is a fight to restore democracy. Juan Guaidó did not declare himself president, he was declared interim president by the legitimate National Assembly as per articles 233, 333 and 350 of the Venezuelan Constitution. These articles state that an illegitimate president shall be replaced by the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó.
“This is an US-backed coup to install a right-wing government.” Well… Canada, Finland, France, Sweden and 50 other nations have recognized Juan Guaidó as interim President of Venezuela. So if you want to call it a coup, it should be called a 54 nation-backed coup. Many of these countries have Socialist governments but yet believe in democracy over political ideology. Juan Guaidó’s political party, Voluntad Popular, is a center-left party and a member on the Socialist International. The Socialist International has condemned Maduro as illegitimate. This is not about left or right.
“The US just wants to take over oil production in Venezuela.” Well… The Venezuelan oil industry was nationalized in the 70’s and has not been “run by Americans” since. PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil company, was regarded as one of the best public run companies in the world before Chávez. Since Chávez took power production output has fallen from 3 million barrels/day to 750,000 barrels due to mismanagement. After the collapse of PDVSA, many of its former engineers are now working in Dubai, Norway and Saudi Arabia for some of the biggest oil companies in the world . What we want is for PDVSA to return to its former glory, to the company all Venezuelans were proud of.
I certainly don’t want American boots on Venezuelan ground, or from any other country for that matter. I abhor Bolton, Pompeo and Elliott Abrams for their bellicose views. What Venezuela needs is diplomatic and moral support from as many nations as possible. We need the political and humanitarian crisis to be over so we can start rebuilding Venezuela and begin the process of reconciliation amongst Venezuelans.
Let it rain help, not bullets.