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Community Affairs Consultants

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In Venezuela: Issues of Sovereignty, Colonialism, Imperialism and Dignity

Posted on January 28, 2019 at 11:39 AM
Amid all the political smoke aloft today over Venezuela, there are serious questions as to sovereignty, colonialism, imperialism and dignity that are in play. 

That international powerhouses have recognized Venezuela's Opposition as the legitimate government, while others have issued an ultimatum to Nicolas Maduro's government to call new elections or hence, suffer their unrecognition of his government, all do hereby affirm the issues of sovereignty, colonialism, imperialism and dignity of not only Venezuela, but of all developing nations, especially those that have had colonial masters.

Therefore, Latin American and Caribbean nations should thread very carefully before racing to a judgement of coaxed condemnation of President Maduro's tainted regime for any of the them could very well be the next internationally scorned victim.

Venezuela's current condition is certainly not as pretty as most of its beautiful women. The country has large oil reserves and resources of gold. Yet, for many years, it has struggled economically via socialist regimes, sanctions, mismanagement and failure to implement needed socio-political reforms. 

But despite all its troubles, Venezuela has never been stingy. Former President Hugo Chavez, at a time in the mid-2000s when oil prices were soaring, heavily discounted Venezuela's price to Latin American and Caribbean friends. His actions spared many economies the full pangs of the financial meltdown of 2007-8. Venezuela over the years has also given considerably to ease the cost of home heating fuel in the New England states of the United States (US). 

Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, became president of Venezuela in 2013 following the death of Hugo Chavez. His heavy handed crackdown on the opposition and all dissent, poor fiscal management, along with a downturn in oil prices in a continuing socialist system, have all made Maduro toxic. Last May, after opposition foes were disqualified from running against him, Maduro secured 67% of the vote to win a second six-year term as president. Venezuela's Opposition and some international observers have deemed Maduro's re-election as a fraud. He was inaugurated less than two-weeks-ago.

But, last week, opposition leader and head of Venezuela's elected National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself as interim president before a large anti-Maduro crowd. Guaido claimed legitimacy under Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution. Under that Article: "death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote" are the conditions to removing the President of Venezuela from power. Thus, there is a rule of law to removing an unpopular president. A declaration to be interim president before a large rally, is not listed in Venezuelan law.

However, a number of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and Canada's Justin Trudeau, have recognized Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom (UK), according to a BBC-News report, have given Maduro the ultimatum to call elections within eight-days, or they would officially recognize the opposition as the new leadership.

So, Spain that has not recognized the referendum of Catalonia to independence, is calling on a former colony to hold a vote. The UK, which questions whether or not a second referendum on Brexit is democratic, is calling on Venezuela to hold a second vote. France, which could see yellow vest protesters declare a new French president at a weekend demonstration, is looking to recognize Venezuela's opposition as the government from a proclamation at a rally. And Canada, which used to be a very neutral and rational nation, has recently, either been dragged or willfully stepped into some controversial matters, is denouncing Maduro's government. Trump's quick statement to recognize Venezuela's opposition, is simply an imperialist assertion set to save face from a fallible isolationist practice. 

Due consideration of law and of reason, therefore imply that in lieu of Maduro's nation-saving resignation, a presidential recall by popular vote is affirmed by Venezuela's Constitution, as a viable and legal option to ousting President Maduro. Though he is toxic, due process of law and respect of sovereignty and of dignity must supercede pressures of colonialism and of imperialism in voting Venezuela back into the hands of Venezuelans. 

Categories: Towards 2014