Venezuela at risk of civil war

(VOVWORLD) - The political and economic crisis in Venezuela is getting worse. Social division has deepened between President Nicolas Maduro, backed by Venezuela’s military, and self-declared President Juan Guaido, who is Speaker of Parliament and leader of the opposition. The world community has been taking sides.
Venezuela at risk of civil war - ảnh 1President Nicolas Maduro at the swearing-in ceremony last year.

Experts fear a possible civil war in Venezuela if the two factions refuse to make any concession.

Escalating tension

In an interview Monday with CNN, President Maduro rejected an ultimatum from the international community demanding an election within 8 days. He said Guaido violated Venezuela’s Constitution by declaring himself President.

Guaido says he has been negotiating with military and civilian officials to force President Maduro to resign and he now has the support of some top military and governmental officials.

The US has asked UN members to support Venezuela’s opposition party and push for an early election. Russia says the US is improperly interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Moscow accused Washington of worsening the situation in Venezuela and inciting extreme views. Russia has called on the UN Security Council to insist that Venezuelans be allowed to resolve their country’s internal affairs. Iran, China, and South Africa share Russia’s stance, but the major EU countries are backing Venezuela’s opposition faction.

Venezuela at risk of civil war - ảnh 2 Self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido.

Venezuela devolving into chaos

The current instability in Venezuela is the consequence of prolonged internal conflict. Many voters boycotted the election that re-elected President Maduro last May. 14 Latin American countries and Canada declared the election improper and illegal, but Maduro was sworn into office despite outraged public protests. The IMF predicts 10 million per cent inflation in Venezuela this year. Venezuela’s economy has been unable to take advantage of its abundant petroleum resources. Opposition protests have been widespread since 2017, accusing Maduro of creating a dictatorship. Maduro, meanwhile, calls the protestors terrorists.

Amid this political and economic turmoil, Guaido was elected Speaker of Parliament on January 5.  On January 23 he publicly declared himself President of Venezuela and called for a new election.

So Venezuela now has two men claiming to be President and Venezuelans are caught in a chaos of rival demonstrations and sharply divided international opinions. Analysts say Venezuela must find a compromise quickly to avoid a military coup, a civil war, or aproxy war between US-led and Russia-led coalitions. 

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