Venezuela should not be turned into another Vietnam.

By Satyen Mohapatra

May 2, 2019

New Deli: With huge oil and gold reserves Venezuela country is becoming a pawn in the international power game with incumbent Socialist regime of President Nicolas Maduro backed by Russia facing a coup attempt by his challenger “interim president” Juan Guaido backed by America.

Though US would prefer President Maduro to peacefully give up his presidency leading to a peaceful transfer of power to Guaido, it is keeping its military ready for any eventuality. The Trump administration is also keeping all its options open.
However every move of US is being watched carefully by Russia which has protested against any interference by the US in the “internal” matters of a sovereign country .

Both US and Russia are at loggerheads as far as Venezuela is concerned .While US has asked Russia to stop supporting Maduro, Russia has warned US that any “aggressive steps” would lead to grave consequences.
If the Venezuelan Army had not maintained complete restraint and refused to be drawn into the political conflict situation would definitely have worsened leading to a bloodbath.

The recent coup attempt by Juan Guaido has not succeeded primarily because the Army continues to stand behind incumbent President Maduro and has not heeded to the call by Juan Guaido to overthrow the government.
Juan Guaido was however able to gather larger number of protestors on the streets of Caracas but security forces were able to quell the protest to a large extent by using tear gas and rubber bullets.

President Maduro seems to be very much in charge. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino has declared that the armed forces would continue to defend the constitution and “legitimate authorities”. Interestingly the Venezuelan Supreme Court too is in total support of President Maduro.

How long will President Maduro be able to withstand the rebellion he faces is something to be seen in the days to come.

India is closely following the emerging situation in Venezuela.
India’s stated position on Venezuelan crisis has been that “ it is for the people of Venezuela to find political solution to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and discussion without resorting to violence.”

India believes that democracy, peace and security in Venezuela are of paramount importance for the progress and prosperity of the people of Venezuela.

As the whole world is watching what is happening in Venezeula President Maduro’s options are limited. He cannot crush militarily a public agitation and outcry to oust him particularly in the name of freedom and democracy.

His challenger Guaido did make a very forceful attempt this time to takeover power from Maduro urging people to gather in larger number and asking the military to support him in overthrowing President Maduro. However the military has stood firmly behind President Maduro.

President Maduro must be keeping in mind the fact that Guaido’s efforts are also backed by US which was one of the first country’s to give him recognition as interim President. Secondly, military intervention has not been ruled out by President Trump.

Even though Maduro has support of Russia which has given him weapons and men but will Russia stand up strongly against US if the crisis escalates , even though Russia’s stated position has been that it will make all efforts to see that US does not send its militarily intervene in Venezuela.

Not to internationalize the issue it is of Maduro’s interest to hold onto power without violence against the protestors. He would not like to give any excuse to US to intervene militarily.

It was since early January this year when the opposition majority National Assembly invalidated President Maduro’s election of May 2018 and declared Juan Guaido as the acting president of the country that Venezuela has been plunged into serious crisis.

The UN Secretary General had asked for a dialogue in January to solve the problem.
The whole issue now seems to have got divided globally on ideological lines with the US , Canada and western powers supporting Guaido and Maduro having the full support of Russia , China, Turkey, Iran, Cuba, Bolivia, among others.

Maduro’s government feels that US is interested to foist a puppet government in Venezeula in the form of Guaido by toppling his government, with an eye on Venezuela’s oil reserves.

Nearly 54 countries have recognized Guaido as the interim president of Venezeula including US, Canada most nations of Latin America and western Europe.While there are supporters on both sides many feel that foreign powers should interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela and it should be left to the people of Venezuela to finally decide peacefully and democratically.

Cuba has strongly condemned attempts to create terror in the streets of Venezuela with armed groups. “We strongly reject this coup, which aims to plunge the country into violence” President Miguel Diaz-Canel has said.
Bolivian President has said that the present uprising was just “serving foreign interests”.

Spain also said that it is looking towards a peaceful solution to the Venezuelan crisis and does not support military coup.
However Brazil , Colombia, Argentina,Chile, Paraguay all have taken a stand against Maduro and felt that the coup was part of the transition of Venezeula from what they call “dictatorship to democracy” though some wanted a more peaceful and constitutionally determined methods.

Guido who has declared this as the “Final phase” of “Operation freedom” from a government “usurped” by President Maduro, the end seems nowhere near as he will alongwith his supporters have declared to continue to strive to oust the government on a day to day basis.