Since last Saturday, infamy has been happening at the border between Venezuela and Colombia for the world to see. The delivery of the wished and publicized U.S. humanitarian aid to Venezuela became a punishment instead of relief.
The images of the Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, dancing salsa in Caracas and declaring victory because he took food from the mouths of thousands starving fellow countrymen, felt like salt on a fresh wound.
Although the leadership of Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s opposition leader, has inspired the Trump administration, the E.U., and the neighboring republics to sponsor his emancipation efforts, it is clear that they all have ignored Lao Tzu’s military principle: “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”
Maduro did not surrender. On the contrary. He flexed his muscles and demonstrated that two decades of dictatorship don’t dissolve in thin air with a concert or women kneeling in desperation.
Last weekend’s barbaric acts against the people of Venezuela was a slap in their faces. However, it was not only by the Maduro regime, but also by the naivety of the pro-freedom coalition.
After the visit of the Colombian president, Ivan Duque, to Washington, Venezuela’s crisis was amplified by the American media saying Maduro’s fall was imminent and a matter of weeks. However, today more than ever the question remains, how long will it take?
Despite the fact that more than three hundred military members have abandoned the dictatorship and are seeking refuge in Colombia since last Saturday, they are merely a needle in a haystack compared to the two hundred thousand still in uniform.
Maduro has spent years purging the forces and rewarding the loyalty of those who remain by giving away control of the most important companies in the country such as the oil giant PDVSA.
In other words, defeating Maduro means defeating the military forces, and the only bargaining chip they understand is war.
Even though President Trump, Vice-president Pence, and Secretary of State Pompeo continue to say all options are on the table, I am sorry to be so pessimistic, but those words are a prepared speech.
Mr. Trump’s decisions in the past two years in office match his policies against nose-driving the U.S. into foreign intervention. Look at the controversial pull-out of Syria.
Moreover, the engines of the 2020 presidential election are warming up, and he won’t jeopardize his reelection by betraying his own foreign policy principle.
The vast crude oil reserves in Venezuela’s soil will guarantee the U.S.’s interest. Not for nothing these are like candy to a child, irresistible. In the meantime, Maduro’s demise is a story to be continued.
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