Recently I met up with my former roommate from the Gaza in Palestine who’s also an employee at a non-profit organization focused on assisting Syrian refugees; his words to me were: “Venezuela is the new Syria” - a heart wrenching statement if it happens to be anything close to the truth.
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that the nation of Venezuela is under extreme duress, and although many of us are firmly against the US's interventionist posture on crises like these across the world, and balk at the ignorance of American policy makers, regardless, the main focus ought to be the alleviation of suffering in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been in full-blown economic crisis for the last 3-4 years atleast, and for all the chants against ‘gringo imperialism’ it appears that the suffering simply hasn’t abated. If one has recently been to the countries that surround Venezuela, i.e. Colombia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the demographic change and economic toll that Venezuelan refugees are having on those surrounding countries has become evident, and there’s no telling how long it could be sustained.
No one else wants more for the Chavezian revolution to live on more than I. My formative years as a political mind (if I can take the liberty to consider myself such) was the early 2000s, where the US lost its place as the moral authority in the world and Chavez stood tall as a moral voice, worthy of respect, because he showed and recognized the suffering of the poor and powerless. Venezuela is now at a crossroads, Chavez is dead, and this revolution is being televised. The socialist revolution must continue, but it shouldn’t end this way. It shouldn’t end with refugees, bloodshed, and political chaos becoming the terms to be made synonymous with the socialist revolution of Chavez.
Finding a peaceful solution to the present crisis ought to be Maduro’s desire. Getting in front of the problem and considering ways to find a solution should be the focus of all regional and super powers apparently so eager to take sides. Another 'Syria' would only costs lives, money, and stability.
The following should be considered as potential steps toward a solution:
Now the notion of compromise and negotiation is that both sides start from the point of understanding that they are not going to get all that they want. So, peace would only come through dialogue and negotiation, and the understanding that the other alternative is death and bloodshed.
Mikhail E.D. Byng was born in Trinidad. He is the author of Off the Island and a graduate student at the University of Belgrade. He speaks Serbian and English.
Trinbagonian. Traveler. Believer in God. Believer in Creation. Life long Student. Sports enthusiast.