Venezuela, United States, Government discussed on In The Thick
Focus and the possible of interventionism right now. Can you all just give us a sense of why? Now, how we got to this point because Venezuela has been in and out of crises various political and economic ones over the past eleven years more acutely economic over the past three years and the last year. And so why now have things reached to the point where the US is intensely focused on what's happening in Venezuela. And how is it the case that the Trump administration, which is largely isolated in so many ways in foreign policy has been able to get fifty other nations. Including all of the other ones in Latin America, except from Mexico and the European Union with which it has a lot of splits right now on the same page and demanding that Maduro has to go right now. And that grotto is the legitimate president. How we got here because my reporting here in DC that that the United States sort of being a little bit late to the party in in terms of the diplomatic front. But now, of course, is taking a big role in the United States has the bigger stake to put in that way in the way of sanctions, but the group ulema and the countries that are around Venezuela and Canada have been on the lead of sort of this diplomatic located by the were the first to say that they would not recognize my Ludo once he will be nag rated after his contentious election in may. So so, you know, the United States is playing a big role certainly any sort of now seems is more the forefront. But the president is is that you have a block of Latin American countries, actually, well and the receiving end of grade. Refugee crisis leading the way they fill. What's your take? I think we need to look back just a little bit. First of all of the the twentieth of may election that he'd I mentioned which was widely regarded as a sham not only inside his Wailer. But throughout the region, the opposition mostly boycotted election. We don't really know what the true turn out figures even were because the electoral thirties is controlled by the government and. Zero went ahead and had himself sworn in for his second term on the tenth of January. But in tremendous isolation. I mean, this is a president who had to celebrate the fact that countries or countries, I should say inverted commas like south-ossetia Abkhazia, sending delegations and he had to put banners up around the city saying hashtag, I am the president. This is a government does not terribly convinced of its own legitimacy. But prior to that the Lima group had come up with a tremendously strong statement in which they said that the national assembly, which is parliament Jimenez, well is under the control of the position was the legitimate, the only legitimate remaining institution and also the background think that we need to bear in mind, as well regionally is that first of all has been sharp drift to the right in the region politically in recent years and just in the last couple years we've seen the beginning this year also narrow right wing, president elected in Brazil. Duquesne Columbia took over from her mama Santos who had a very really laissez faire attitude for most of his presidency as regards Venezuela, and we mustn't forget the enormous refugee crisis that is affecting the entire region with three million also Venezuelans three and a half million minutes outside the country, absolutely unprecedented for Venezuela and the biggest migratory crisis in in certainly in recent history in Latin America, which is affecting all these countries makes it necessary for the governments of these countries to look for a quick solution to stop this. Stop this outflow like jump in. We my meetings. He'll win Bassett IRS from the region. There's a clear. We'll to action I think there'd be the other. They're dealing with very situations in Columbia, for example. You know, there are million Venezuelans country that has itself being populations of internally displaced people armed conflicts. And you know, they're seeing the situation or something that could possibly Escalade that could be stabilizing real urgency to act. This is the Cold War reading of the United States sort of stepping into trying to sink. The oil intervening is not important. You have you have a unified front of countries Chile. Argentina. Pantomine through Ecuador, you know, who are the receiving end of of this of this humanitarian crisis, and they have an interest in seeing the the regime of nNcholas mood fall so fast. We can return to some form of debilitation. Yes. So you both mentioned the US, and let's get into that noncontroversial topic of US Latin American policy over the years. I always say then is third rail issue I've been covering it for years and every time you try to have the conversation. Venice weathe- recently, it can get a little bit muddied, and it can get really intense. But then we want to talk a little bit about how the US is playing a role in this crisis, or whether they aren't because there is talk about you know, there were sanctions that are on Venezuela. That's happened over the years supporting human rights things like that. So Phil I mean, how much is the US responsible for what happened in Venezuela in the last since job is I mean, what can you give us more? Context about that. No, the Venezuelan crisis created by. Silence. You know, they elected government in in a free and fire lection back in one thousand nine hundred eight the government of Chavis his successor is nNcholas Maduro who took over in two thousand fourteen off to to China's died of cancer, but the entire economic and social and humanitarian crisis that we're seeing is down to a extremely extremely ill advised. Not to say corrupt mad economic policies which have wrecked an economy, which the mentally wasn't in great shape. When Chavez came along when he took office in nineteen ninety nine. But is now the worst run economy has been for some time for the worst economy in the world, certainly the worst run economy anywhere in the Americas. And not only did they do that. But they steadily eroded democratic checks and balances closed off peaceful routes to resolving the political polarization. Made it pretty much impossible for the position alternately to win presidential elections. Anyway, ruled out the possibility of in of of ever leaving office, and that's where we are today. And certainly the United States has made some mistakes along the way said these had some influence on what's been going on. But primarily this is Venezuelan created situation ally, would you tend to agree with that assessment though? I thoroughly agree with feels Esmond of the situation up until this point. I think the narrative that the sanctions have contributed to the crisis in Venezuela. Kabila ludicrous, it's been terribly mismanaged. Corruption is completely out of control the productive apparatus was nationalized giving out to political allies and cronies and in the military, and sort of course, it's completely collapsed. The Venezuelan government started controlling access to dollars hard currency to control imports. And of course, that created a whole black market. And a cycle of corruption. We had an official here in in Florida indicted with over a billion dollars in money that was that was of course, diverted from dependence on. I that's just of course, the cases that we know. So this definitely being created by Venezuela's. However, the US is taking now a much more forceful approach with the imposition of oil sanctions that are to kick in actually at the end of March. If I'm not mistaking that could really really really hit the when I kinda me to the point where even with this management with corruption the government has had access to dollars because of the because selling oil to the United States. That's us never stopped. You know will be able to to sell oil to United States. Do I'll do the last couple of decades? And actually, that's what helped fund many social programs and all these things and the growth of the, of course, of the St. PAT's, you know, we're talking about a bloated government machinery. But now, of course, with the with the threat of sanctions that could have reorientation for for normal people. The cushion of subsidies that that are giving out on a monthly basis to clamp boxes, you know, things that that the government is being able to provide. And frankly, it's what Montaigne also certain level of alliances support among certain certain sectors of the population. If that's gone, then the humanitarian crisis, the hunger at the medicine that could all worse in the now is is it's a strategy, of course, to see the trigger further political pressure on the government. It's very risky.