Venezuela is a populous South American country centered on the continent’s northern coast. Its neighbors include Columbia, Brazil, Guyana, and the Trinidad and Tobago islands. It is well known for the oil deposits it possesses. Venezuela, along with a few other nations, is a leading oil exporter because of its large oil deposits. Venezuela, like other nations, faces a number of shortcomings that serve as roadblocks to the goals that it wishes to achieve as a country. Most of the problems that the country faces are common to other countries, inadequate finances for instance, but there is one limitation that has been eating the country down from its roots. Politics are the biggest venomous animal that the country tries to control.
As for the moment, Venezuela is in a protracted crisis state. Problems began in the year 2014 when the citizens of Venezuela started protesting on the high cost of basic commodities and the rising inflation rates. This caused the economy to shrink sharply and it is further expected to continue contracting if no immediate action is taken. After the end of the reign of president Hugo Chaves, his successor, Nicolas Maduro, came in to power followed by all these problems. President Nicolas failed to effectively respond to the challenges that he was faced with, a majority being the ones mentioned above and therefore drifting his approval ratings level to twenty three percent. There were a series of risks that were previously outlined in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the year 2012 and some are still valid up to date following the political instability increase in the area.
The reign of Maduro has been one of the authoritarian forms of leadership since he got into power in the year 2013. There were antigovernment protests that were held in the months of March and February 2014 to raise the issue on inflation and shortages in a majority of the supplies. Maduro’s government countered this with a lot of force hence killing dozens of protestors and injuring citizens in hundreds and also not forgetting the thousands that were arrested. This move by the governments shed out light to the international community of the form of authority and leadership that Maduro’ administration was employing and therefore discrediting him. A good example is the relationship between Venezuela and the United States of America. The relationship can be described as a toxic one where Maduro points a finger at the United States for“economic war” complicity against Venezuela. He also accuses USA for trying to overthrow the government. Maduro went further to announce an executive order by the United States which authorized sanctions and characterized Venezuela’s situation as “an extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. UNASUR has great support on Venezuela where it went further to demand that United States should have the sanctions revoked and at least show some respect to the sovereignty of Venezuela.
Venezuela also saw clashes between opposition demonstrators and armed government supporters. Looting and food shortages also followed due to the political instability between the two rivalry groups. The imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez, who was the opposition leader and a majority of his supporters, also aggravated the political instability in the area as a majority of the citizens were behind the leader.
Bad leadership by Maduro also came handy with major corruption cases. The oil reserves are a major point of interest for all the leaders that are always interested in the Venezuelan political seats. Controlling the world’s largest oil exporting country is a post everyone would want. Most corrupt leaders take advantage of such resources and privatize a section of it. The same case happened with Maduro where he has been consuming a majority of the resources in the country. This has made corruption a force to reckon with in Venezuela.
Political instability led to the mismanagement of the country’s top money making project and that is the oil reserves. The exports reduced and a bigger share of the funds gained from the reserves was mismanaged and embezzled by those in power. This further aggravated the decreasing rates of supplies hence affecting the level of inflation. There was another twist in 2015 after there was a drop in oil prices. This crippled the economy of Venezuela further hence making leadership harder.
Stakeholders in decision making
Since the problem of political instability affects the whole country, the major stakeholders in addressing the issues faced in Venezuela would obviously be from the international community. The USA is one country that is really interested in bringing back political stability in the region. The United States has interests in promoting democracy, human rights and also controlling the financial flows that have their roots from the corruption in Venezuela. It would also make the tracking of drug trafficking via Venezuela very difficult. The citizens of Venezuela also have a part to play in ensuring that there is political stability in their area by practicing their democratic rights and kicking out the president if he is not worth.
The organization of American States came in to help unite the nations in the two American continents as they attempted to solve the issue of political instability in Venezuela. It also tabled a number of moves that should be employed if success was anticipated in Venezuela.
Solutions to the problems
The United States employed the use of the Voice of America and also public democracy to clear the air on claims that the United States is intervening in the internal affairs of Venezuela. United States insisted that political liberties abrogation and human rights are both regional concerns and it had the right to involve itself in the issues of the Venezuelan people.
The United States also employed its defense forces in alliance with other militaries from the surrounding region to help in insisting to the security officers in Venezuela for their need to respect their obligations of upholding their respect for human rights, peace, democracy and the constitution. This was done after the US assured the other militaries in the two American continents that it did not want military action against the troubled Venezuela.
The organization of American States (OAS) also had a hand in helping solve some of the political issues that were being faced in Venezuela. The United States collaborated with the organization with the aim of ensuring that there are dialogues held that could establish that the conditions necessary for fair, free and credible elections are adhered to. UNASUR also had a representation in this meeting. The member states for these organizations lured Venezuela to swimming together with them as they came up with the idea of elections observers after establishing the dates for the elections.
The United States also announced publicly that it had not lost any relations with Venezuela and the entire nation wanted to have a stronger relationship with Venezuela. This move was meant to encourage other nations to bringing their heads together as they tried to help Venezuela get her feet out of the mud.
The solutions were endless but most of them were not futile. The move to try and lure Venezuela into forming letting other nations oversee their elections was highly denied by the Venezuelan president. He described it as colonialism and the leader was so much after the independence of Venezuela in that the decisions made in the country could not be effected by another country. However, a number of the solutions provided by the USA have worked up to date and there are possibilities of a better leadership program if all goes as planned.
In conclusion, we can say there is some ray of light at the end of the tunnel following the major steps adopted by those in charge mostly the United States. It is the sincere hope of every Venezuelan citizen that all goes well and political stability is regained in Venezuela.
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Levine, Daniel H. Conflict and political change in Venezuela. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Wilde, Matt. “Contested Spaces: The Communal Councils and Participatory Democracy in Chávez’s Venezuela.” Latin American Perspectives 44.1 (2017): 140-158.