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By Friday, there will be 190 metric tons of aid ready at the border between Colombia and Venezuela ready to be delivered to a people who desperately need it. The only thing standing in the way is the ego and ineptitude of a failed leader who is more concerned about his own power than the lives of the people he supposedly serves.
Contested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has set up a military blockade to prevent the aid from reaching the people. His reason: the aid is just an excuse for the United States to invade Venezuela. This is ridiculous, and the United States plans to get the aid to the people one way or another.
Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is hoping Juan Guaido, who the United States recognizes as the leader of Venezuela, will be able to assert enough control over the situation to bypass or remove the blockade and allow the aid to reach the people.
“That really is up to Juan Guaido and his people and his team,” Green told Fox News. “We are working with them to try and pre-position that assistance and give them the tools to lead their people and provide hope.”
For the last couple of years, the collapse of Venezuela’s economy has been pointed to by fiscal conservatives in the United States as an example of how socialism fails, even for a country as well-off as oil-rich Venezuela once was. But we’re now well beyond calls to condemn socialism. It has obviously failed and it’s up to the international community to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in which masses of people could die.
Yes, the situation is rapidly deteriorating that badly.
Whether through Guaido or Maduro, this insane refusal to help the people must be averted immediately. It’s odd that starving Venezuelans must somehow bypass their own government’s idiotic pride in order to receive the aid that’s ready and waiting for them.
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How the United States goes about forcing the aid into the country is a delicate proposition. If they don’t want it, there’s nothing we can do to force them to take it. The question is, who is “them” in this equation? If the vast majority of the people would welcome the aid, as I suspect, then we must coordinate with the international community and Guaido to secure passage and distribution of the aid to where it’s needed the most.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of information hitting mainstream media about the situation on the other side of the border. Is it as bad as we think? If so, then something short of a U.S.-backed coup should be considered. We must continue to respect Venezuela’s sovereignty and just because we believe Guaido is the rightful leader doesn’t make it so. It’s up to the people of Venezuela to say they’re done with Maduro.
But if Maduro continues to control the military, it’s a moot point. There’s no recourse for the people or Guaido in the immediate future. They’ll have to continue to fight Maduro’s regime through information and revolt in order to sway the military to Guaido’s side. Outright civil war seems impossible at this point because Maduro’s forces are too strong. Waiting them out seems untenable as well because the people are dying today. They may not have time for a slow, steady revolution.
It comes down to someone convincing Maduro to stop being obtuse. We’re not invading Venezuela Aid that we would deliver is just as good if not better than what they can receive from Russia or other Maduro-friendly countries and it’s clearly more abundant; Maduro said Russia was sending 30 metric tons of aid “soon.”
Maduro has two choices: Maintain power and let his people die or give up power and help his people live. It’s insane that he seems to be leaning towards the former, but that’s the nature of despots.
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