Saturday, May 14, 2016

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela during a meeting with ministers in Caracas on Friday
Yesterday, U.S. intelligence officials announced that they believed Venezuela to be on the verge of total collapse. This week, there were numerous confrontations and clashes between the police and citizens over food shortages, power blackouts, and political gridlock. Even with Obama claiming that U.S. and Latin American relations are doing well, the U.S. was never comfortable with the leftist revolution that started twenty years ago. With the impending doom of a major Latin American country, these U.S. intelligence officials claim that they are no longer actively trying to undermine the leftist government, and are instead more concerned with stabilizing the country, no matter who's in charge. Even with the opposition party's victories in the parliament and the public outrage to oust President Nicolas Maduro like Brazil's President Rouseff, the leftist party still controls much of the government, and the opposition doesn't seem disciplined enough.

So, one outcome is that the opposition continues petitioning for impeachment given this year's recall referendum failure. Another is a "palace coup," in that government officials oust Maduro with help from the military, or an outright military coup. How do you think this ordeal will end? Do you believe there is an alternate solution for Venezuela's problems? Should the U.S. step in the help, and how?

Washington Post
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times


Ryan Swan said...

I believe this ordeal has the potential to end with a very positive outcome. If the U.S. and Venezuela are required to work together, the given situation could allow us to form a stronger bond with each other. Therefore strengthening the ties between both the U.S. and Latin American countries. Of course this is just my optimism getting ahead of me and I do understand that relationships with the U.S. and Latin countries are much more complicated, I say there is always the potential to improve. There may be alternate solutions to this problem, yet none that I can ponder. As for the U.S. involvement with Venezuela's affairs, I feel the U.S. should offer help as a means of maintaining a strong relationship. Although our help can lead to an increase of tension considering the U.S. and Venezuela have huge differences of opinions when it comes to policy.

Daniel Jun said...

How has any nation gotten out of a severe crisis? Either the nation crumples and a new one pops up in its place, or a combination of innovation and national pride gets the nation out of said crisis. Although, let's think in terms of America. In the Great Depression, the American people voted for FDR and got in return federal programs.
What Venezuela needs is a revolution. And why does everyone think that the United States intervening in stuff makes everything better? And I have examples for when foreign help is NOT needed. My example are those "buy a pair of shoes, we send a pair to needy people in Africa" businesses. Those things hinder the economies because the circulation of funds just plain doesn't happen! People don't need to buy shoes, meaning domestic shoe manufacturers don't get to sell a pair, meaning less money for employees, etc. My point is that America helping will not necessarily be a boon upon Venezuela. Please note I said necessarily, as I try not to believe in absolutes.

Christopher Duan said...

I think that this type of change may be a "natural" process, as Daniel has noted above... Perhaps we need this renewal once in a while. It seems that there are so many problems in Venezuela, corruption may play no small role in this problem. therefore, it makes sense that a new government or large reform is needed, and this type of renewal may be the proper vehicle for such a process. I think in the end, this will end positively, but of course it will not be a quick change. The US ought to remain out of this conflict, as it has a long history of intervention, not all of which we are proud of. I am not an expert in this field, but I see the best course of action here is to monitor the situation carefully for our own security and keep our interests safe.

Jeffrey Song said...

I agree with much of what Daniel has to say, and would like to add that the US has already had a role in destabilizing the region and Venezuela in particular. According to a report written on, "The democratically-elected government of President Nicolás Maduro, nearly two years into a six year-term, has managed to face down a formidable U.S.-backed right wing opposition, elements of which have been relentlessly trying to bring about regime change by any means." The economy and overall outlook in Venezuela has been on a steady downturn for the better part of the last few years, and I think that this crisis is simply the tipping point where all of the unrest in the country is boiled over and decisive action has to be taken to either attempt to avert the crisis and calm the protesters or to confront it head on and almost certainly guarantee a revolution. While I don't know enough about the topic to judge whether or not the US specifically should publicly intervene in this crisis, I do think that someone should intervene. In today's age where everything and everyone is interconnected, the destabilization of Venezuela will lead to unrest in neighboring countries and potentially destabilize the whole region. I don't think it's a matter of whether or not the Venezuelans have the right to determine who gets to interfere and who doesn't, it's a matter of what's best for the region as a whole and especially for the country itself - what's the best path for them in the future?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Daniel on the fact that these kinds of rebirths are natural for many countries. It is either the country raises from its ashes to make a new and better nation, or it becomes at least two new countries. However, for a country that is in such a state as Venezuela, I do not think this will end on a positive note. Personally I believe that this all end with an all out revolution with a new government coming out on top. I also believe that america should intervene at all during this time. As we have seen before, the american government has made huge interventions during the cold war with the communists, and in recent years due to terrorists. The american government can not get involved in such an occurrence unless american citizen blood has been shed. The U.S has to stop the older brother role it has obtained over the years.