As the crisis in Venezuela continues, talk of problems that escalate into civil war is becoming more distant every day. And there are certainly many international paddles stuck in the pot – especially Donald Trump. The reality for most of us, however, is that no matter what the news tells, it is impossible to control what is happening on earth, whichever country you think is right.
There is another reality – the rebel forces are growing, and the instigation of war needs only the slightest spark to ignite things. Besides, now that President Maduro has won an election, even if you agree with him Smartmatic who claim that the ballot was forged, the simple fact is that once this constitution is rewritten, it will be a challenge to defeat the current leader next time.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that the elections themselves were boycotted by the opposition. Given that they see them as a fraudulent election – and as Americans are beginning to make less diplomatic noise from the north – it seems reasonable that they are doing everything possible to avoid legitimizing Maduro and his party. Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Canada are also throwing two cents in value, so a waiting game is probably the most useful option.
But for anyone who thinks rebellion and civil war will return to prosperous Venezuela, there are a few troubling questions to answer. Primarily, why President Trump is so interested in Venezuela right now? And why do we see so much about it in the news? Yes, the reports seem detrimental to Maduro’s government, but we definitely see a one-sided picture. Many other dictators around the world do business in a much more violent way, both for citizens and for political opponents, with little or no reproach in the headlines. In fact, some of them make arms deals, while those like Venezuela receive sanctions.
Also, little is said about who these rebels really are, who they support, and what their intentions are. And the reality is that when democracies – however shambolic these democracies are – fall, they are usually replaced by something far worse.
President Maduro does not deserve much sympathy, of course, given the huge mistakes the government has made, which have led to appalling economic results. And there is no excuse for the kind of bloodshed and violence allegedly perpetrated by the government. But for the Venezuelan people, who will no doubt be severely wounded by a civil war, it may not be better after one, even if Maduro is overthrown. There are many others with blood on their hands, not just government forces and supporters. If these rebels come to power one day in the not-too-distant future, one wonders what this force might look like.