By Anagyros Cole Mantas | Staff Writer
Venezuela is a country rich in culture, history and oil. Because of this, as well as its location in the Western Hemisphere, it has become a primary target for US involvement over the decades.
The United States has maintained ties to Venezuela until supporting a coup attempt of the current president, Nicolas Maduro.
The United States has often found itself meddling in the affairs of South America for over a century now, usually for personal benefit, whether it be constructing a canal or attempting to claim a stake in foreign oil.
The United States Government has been known for supporting coups and rebel groups in secrecy since the Cold War, the most notable being the Contras– Nicaraguan guerilla fighters between 1979 and 1990.
American involvement in foreign situations is usually initiated under the guise that we are attempting to support democracy or freedom. However, the government’s actions usually contradict this claim.
The situation Venezuela is currently in is solely based on the drastic fall of oil prices that their economy relied on for stability. This drop was heavily affected by the Trump administration allowing American oil companies to export and sell as much oil as they can instead of maintaining regulation reserves that have been in place since the Reagan administration.
This does not mean the US caused the economic turmoil in Venezuela, but we did add fuel to the fire. After this initial turmoil, the Trump administration began supporting the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, and his attempt to throw Maduro out of office.
This coup is not without cause. The current president of Venezuela has demonstrated traits and habits of an authoritarian leader with intentions similar to that of Putin. He has attempted to consolidate, control and maintain his power with the use of the Venezuelan military, but this has only enflamed the tensions even more between the people and foreign powers.
The overlooked fact is that many actions the Trump administration has taken are hurting the people of Venezuela far more than they are hurting Maduro’s ability to maintain his power, and the support for Guaido seems to be far more for the benefit of American oil interests than for the freedom of the people of Venezuela.
Under the previous governing bodies in Venezuela, the sale of oil has been controlled by the state and used for the payment of services and social actions for the people of Venezuela, as well as for additional government expenses.
If Guaido is able to remove Maduro from office, he intends to privatize the oil industry in Venezuela, allowing it to become a hunting ground for foreign involvement in Venezuela’s most valuable natural resource.
This would also limit how much the government would be able to help the citizens of Venezuela while possibly making the current standard of living worse for the majority of the people living there.
The world has allowed Venezuela to divide itself into two extremes, but this has caused far more harm to the citizens than it ever should have. Foreign involvement beyond the US meddling is needed at this point for their benefit.
The citizens are the one who have been without food and aid that they desperately need while the leaders in both groups have been provided for and are far more concerned with achieving power than helping the human beings who live in their country.
If any other foreign involvement occurs, it should be a coalition effort to negotiate and de-escalate the conflict that has arisen in Venezuela for the peace and happiness of the citizens and neither of the waring political entities.