Venezuela crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue

(VOVWORLD) - Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself interim President of Venezuela last month and ruling President Nicolas Maduro have not yet met to discuss a way forward. The UN is calling for international cooperation to prevent a humanitarian crisis from developing.

On Monday the US submitted to the UN Security Council a resolution calling for international aid and a new Presidential election in Venezuela. Afterwards, Russia proposed an alternative resolution after expressing concerns about territorial integrity and political independence in Venezuela.

President Maduro has conducted the largest military drill in Venezuela in 200 years to show his readiness to counter any external military intervention in response to suggestions that the US might deploy 5,000 troops to Colombia, which borders Venezuela.

International split

The international community has split over the Venezuelan issue. Some EU countries including the UK, Germany, France and Spain have joined the US in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s interim President and are pressing Maduro to call a new election. The US is considering military intervention in Venezuela, but has said it prefers a peaceful transition of power.

Cuba, Mexico, Turkey and Russia support President Maduro and condemn what they call a coup attempt. Russia said the US must not make any intervention including military intervention, into Venezuela adding that it is ready to consult on the Venezuelan issue in accordance with the UN Charter. The UN has called on President Maduro and opposition leader Guaido to sit down to a negotiation.

The US says humanitarian aid has been delivered to the town of Cucuta on the border between Colombia and Venezuela. But the Venezuelan government insists there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and it will not accept humanitarian aid. Maduro asked the US to lift the additional sanctions it imposed on Venezuela a ew weeks ago. He said humanitarian aid is just a cover for the US to overthrow his government.

UN Chief Antonio Guiterres said Tuesday that the UN is ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela, where economic hardship has forced millions to flee to other countries. He said he is just waiting for approval from President Maduro.

Venezuela faces numerous economic difficulties

Political turmoil in Venezuela has resulted in numerous economic difficulties. The devaluation of Venezuela’s currency has prompted foreign investors to scale down their business or leave Venezuela. Massive migration is taking place. Though the government has introduced a new currency, the sovereign bolivar, and lopped five zeros off the value of the old bolivar, increased the minimum wage a dozen of times, and increased the VAT from 4% to 16%, Venezuela’s economy keeps going down. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Venezuela’s inflation will hit 10 million percent this year.

Given all the economic woes and political turmoil, a dialogue between the government and the opposition is desperately needed. But Venezuela’s problems should be solved by the Venezuelan people themselves in a manner consistent with their constitution and laws.