The Venezuela Crisis

Can Venezuela return democracy to the people?

The Venezuela Crisis

So what's going on?

Venezuela has been going down a dangerous path for years. The problems began with political discontent and corrupt officials, leading to extreme hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine. When Maduro, the current President, was in his first term of office, his leadership sent the economy into a freefall and many citizens place the blame on his socialist government. He was widely disliked, therefore when he was re-elected into a second term in May of 2018, everyone was suspicious.

It turns out many of the opposition party candidates weren’t allowed to run in the election. Maduro’s government takes even further by threatening to lockup and jail the opposition, which caused many candidates to flee the country. With all this corruption, Maduro’s re-elections was not seen as valid by Venezuela’s opposition controlled National assembly. Therefore, Guaidó, the opposition leader, citing articles 233, 333, and 350 from Venezuela’s constitution (which explains that in such cases, the head of national assembly shall take over as acting President), declared himself acting President on January 23rd of this year. Guaidó has gained enormous recognition as the acting President of Venezuela. International recognition has come from Canada, USA, UK, Argentina, Brazil, and many more.

"If the aid gets in, Maduro is shown to have lost control of the situation; if it doesn't get in, we show that Maduro doesn't care for the suffering of the people." —Juan Miguel Matheus, an MP for the Opposition

On February 23, a ship from Puerto Rico with about six American citizens operating it, carrying 250 tons of humanitarianaid on board, was forced to turn back when the Venezuelan Navy threatened to open fire. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello addressed this by issuing a statement that read this is “a direct threat against a humanitarian mission being carried out by American citizens.” The Maduro governments continued resistance to accept foreign aid has escalated to a point where violent protests are taking place along the border where trucks with humanitarian supplies have been trying to reach people in need. Most of the violence is being perpetrated by Maduro’s governments while the opposition and those who are in need are facing tremendous obsticles to get supplies. “[People] braved tear gas as they rescued boxes of emergency food and medicine from burning trucks during violent clashes on the Colombian border with security forces blocking the entry of US-supplied humanitarian aid.”

So how can Venezuela return to a democratic country?

The main way Venezuela can regain democracy is that the power of the military must switch over to acting President Guaidó. The military must discontinue the support for a corrupt leader who burns food and medical supplies in front of its own starving and sick citizens. “How many of you national guardsmen have a sick mother? How many have kids in school without food?” Guaidó asked. In a press conference with the President of Colombia, Guaidó said the military did not owe loyalty to such a cruel regime. The only way Venezuela can move forward and amend the economy for the benefit of its citizens is a complete overthrow of the current military power. With recommendations from other nation leaders, including the US and Canada, Venezuela needs to initiate a military coup to return the power of the state to the rightful party, accept international help, and create an environment that lessens the possibility of extreme government corruption.

Shelby Cheveldayoff
Shelby Cheveldayoff
Read next: New Mexico—It's like a State, like All the Others!
Shelby Cheveldayoff

Currently pursuing a Political Science degree at University of Saskatchewan

Freelance writer with a focus on politics, human & environmental rights, health & wellbeing, lifestyle, photography and sports.

See all posts by Shelby Cheveldayoff