Venezuela update

Jack Holbrook, Staff Writer

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It has been close to one year since the controversial re-election of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in May of 2018, and the ongoing turmoil has worsened their socioeconomic crisis.

Venezuela recently reached a record high inflation rate of 2,690,000% in January of 2019, and it shows no sign of decreasing.  Families struggle to get the food, water, and medicine they need to survive.

Opposition and interim president Juan Guaido is calling it a humanitarian crisis, and has attempted to bring aid to the desperate people of Venezuela. This aid from various countries has been denied entry and even burned by the government of Manduro, who says there is not a humanitarian crisis at hand.

“The people of Venezuela need help, because it seems as if they’re definitely not getting it from their government,” history teacher David Wainwright said.

Wainwright believes other countries, including the U.S., need to supply aid to the desperate people of Venezuela.

The U.S. has announced its support of interim president Guaido, and has sent 180 metric tons of supplies to Columbia, which remains untouched, as it is unable to get through the border of Venezuela.

“If aid and help is denied by the Venezuelan government, I think military intervention will be necessary,” junior Ross Ogburn said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has not ruled out an armed response to the Venezuela crisis, although this option would be last resort.  As of now, the U.S. has implemented a series of restrictions and sanctions on Venezuelan officials as a short term solution.

Maduro’s corruptive behavior doesn’t stop with the denial of aid.  The Venezuelan military has been involved in multiple violent outbreaks that has lead to the death of two civilians and injuries of many others.  Soldiers opened fire against people attempting to reach aid, using a mixture of live ammunition and rubber bullets.

Many believe that a collective international effort will have to be made in order for this crisis to be resolved. Currently, there are many divisions globally on who should hold power. Cuba, China, and Russia have announced their support for the current President Nicolas Maduro, all of which have economic ties to Venezuela, primarily in oil.  

On the other hand, over 50 countries have announced their support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, including the U.S, who fear a strong dictatorial power may arise.

“I feel like it is going to take a long time to resolve,” sophomore Logan Brown said.

Brown fears this problem may be evident well past 2019 if a global effort is not made.

The people in Venezuela are desperate, and cannot survive much longer under political upheaval.  This crisis demands immediate attention, and countries will have to move past economic and social cleavages to protect the desperate people of Venezuela.