Armed civilians seek to counter Maduro’s regime, a dictatorship backed by Iran and Russia skirt by as civilian life in Latin America’s richest state is sundered by political brutality. How does this end?
If a government begins to pauperize its people, what is the responsibility of the people towards that government? These theoretical questions animate not only US conservatives who seek a convention of the states, but entire swaths of nation states throughout Latin America. Venezuela is ground zero for the American’s to checkmate Russian and Iranian regional expansion.
Venezuelan opposition to Maduro’s regime began in 2015 immediately after a duly elected legislature was shut down by regime appointed judges who openly sought to strip power from a legitimate parliament. Since that time famine brews while starvation becomes state policy. It isn’t just Riyadh that seeks to starve out both Yemeni civilians but Iranian backed Shia Houthi’s. In Caracas, an organized populist revolt against Maduro has sought two strategies, one is open revolution met by state sanctioned violence, another is negotiation for open presidential elections this spring.
While the opposition has no central leadership, Maduro’s regime has sought to pit citizens against each other by criminalizing ethnic groups through ruthless clientelism for food and medicine effectively ushering in famine throughout the country.
Last weeks talks in the Dominican Republic reveal just how strong the Maduro regime remains. It barred popular political parties from campaigning while refusing to acknowledge non-partisan electoral authorities or international monitoring. Seeking to wear down an opposition with no face, Maduro’s foreign backed junta may win.
Venezuela’s central bank stopped publishing monetary, fiscal statistics; even still, hyperinflation continues to break down the social bonds that procure the very violence both Maduro and citizens wish to avoid. In 2017 alone, prices for staple food products rose 2,616%. They rose again in January of 2018 by 85%. The state owns the most productive capacity in oil and refinery, but the regime is closed off from international market exports and must rely on oil production from private cartels. The gross availability of state share is shrinking because Venezuela itself is dying. 2018 will see the Venezuelan economy shrink by one third. A man made calamity of engineered famine identical to Somalia in the 1980’s is on the way.
Guerrilla action has begun. We should expect citizens throughout the county to begin taking up arms against its oppressor.
Team Trump needs to consolidate regional and international policy aims by striking at the heart of Iranian, Chinese and Russian expansion throughout Latin America.
What Reagan accomplished with the Contras in Central America has to be done AGAIN. This time we don’t have a Polish Pope, Solidarity and an easily identified villain of Soviet Russia.
Even still, starvation as official state policy in the criminalization of political differences can only be halted by armed insurrection. Its time we got a dog in this fight.