Venezuela currently stands in political turmoil and chaos as both Maduro and Guaido continue to claim to be the rightful Venezuelan president.
Maduro, who claims that he was elected fairly and that the opposition is just looking for reasons to incite a coup, is seen as a rising dictator by many onlooking countries. Guaido, Maduro’s competition, claims that the elections were rigged and that Maduro is taking steps to ensure his rule over Venezuela.
Maduro began his second term in January, after a widely boycotted election that many foreign governments refuse to recognize. Maduro support consist of the top brass of Venezuela’s military, the Venezuelan supreme court (which is stacked with Maduro loyalists), Russia, Turkey, China, the state oil company (PDVSA), a few left-leaning governments like Cuba and Bolivia, and a select group of loyal Chavistas, who are supporters of the late president Chavez, who also experienced coup attempts.
Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, following the loss of the elections, declared himself interim president due to the alleged election fraud Maduro incited. Supporters for Guaido include the United States, generally the middle and upper-class citizens, many right-leaning Latin American governments like Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, and the French President. The European Union has also called for new elections but has not explicitly shown support for Guaido.
Currently, the ICC has started the process of a preliminary investigation into Maduro for crimes against humanities, murder, disappearances, torture, and other various war crimes. Maduro claims that these investigations and the oppositional arguments stem from political reasons. He and his government blame the economic crisis on the sanctions put in place by the U.S on Oil, the major contributing factor in the Venezuelan economy. They continue to go further in saying that the opposition is primarily caused by U.S propaganda which was started to incite a coup and diminish Maduro’s power as he is the first Latin American President that does not fulfill every whim of the United States.
Regardless of Maduro claims, there is no question whether Venezuela is experiencing either an economic and political crisis. Poverty and crime rates can be expected to progressively worsen due to the lack of unity in the Venezuelan government, riots, and military actions currently taking place. Fear resides in Venezuelan citizens who are questioning the future of their nation, and the safety of their family and themselves. Furthermore, many citizens have chosen to leave the country in attempts to avoid political unrest and violence that follows.
Despite Maduro’s willingness to meet with opposition leaders and supporters such as Trump, very little progress has been made, and Maduro continues to repel any humanitarian support sent by non-supporters. The likely hood of civil war, and possibly an international one as well, continues to grow as Maduro, and Maduro supporters threaten oppositional groups with the possibility of military action in response to interventions. Specifically, threats have been made between Russia and the U.S regarding military support and interventions.
A major worry of such actions includes the possibility of Maduro’s presidency starting a war between the two nations that would inevitably drag the majority of the international community into it as well. To prevent such circumstances, communication between the two sides must take place and must be tackled with utmost precaution.