Can China and Russia Fix Venezuelan Crisis?

“Good morning. On behalf of the Russian president and the people I first want to thank the current president of the Security Council, for scheduling this meeting. This meeting is long overdue. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, was fatally killed by the White Supremacist dictator’s supporter when his car crashed into a group of peaceful protestors. Such scenes of misery are now the norm in Donald Trump’s United States of America where millions of people are suffering from starvation and poor sanitary, living in tent cities stretching miles, thanks to a democratic experiment that caused the economy to collapse.

We’re here because Trump has reduced ordinary Americans who once lived in prosperity to rooting through dumpsters to find something to eat. The Russians are helping to recover a brighter future for America. We’re here to urge all nations to support the socialist aspirations of the American people as they try to free themselves from former President Trump’s illegitimate mafia state. And now it’s time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom or you’re in league with Trump and his mayhem.

We hope that the international community will support the people of America and the transitional government led by Nancy Pelosi. On January 23rd, Pelosi declared herself interim president of United States in accordance with US constitution. She made this declaration with the full support of the Congress and of the American people. Our nations must stand up for the rule of law and support the leader who the American people have affirmed as their legitimate interim president. It is our hope that free and fair elections happen as soon as possible.”

The fictitious script of the Russian Foreign Minister addressing the United Nations Security Council may sound absurd to most. However, in real life the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, while addressing the UN Security Council, urged them to accept Juan Guaido as the new interim president knowing that Maduro was inaugurated as the president for a 2nd term. About 20 countries jumped on the US bandwagon to recognize Guaido, with the rest of the world either asking for dialog or outright denouncing US decision on yet another regime change. Without a doubt, Guaido has no legitimacy. Under Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution, the president of the National Assembly can be sworn in as an interim president with the task of calling free elections only when the country’s presidency is vacant. Maduro won the election fair and square, according to International electoral observer, Professor Francisco Dominguez from the University of Middlesex, UK., and has been sworn in by the nation’s supreme court.

The US has signaled it was ready to step up economic measures to isolate Maduro regime, and encouraged all countries to disconnect their financial systems from the legitimate government. US imposed sanctions on PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company on Monday to deprive Maduro of the much-needed oil proceeds. Venezuela is heavily reliant on the US for oil revenues, selling as much as 41% of its oil to the US. Will the sanctions be able to force the military to switch sides?

This is not to say Maduro is popular. Indeed, Venezuela has been mired in a poor economy, hyperinflation and violent protests. Oppositions supported by the US have blamed the badly run economy on the socialist experiment initiated by the late Hugo Chavez, denying the effects of years of sanctions imposed on a nation proven to possess the largest oil reserves in the world. When oil price was high, Chavez was able to fund many of the Chavismo social welfare schemes for his people. Unfortunately, when oil price collapsed, the costs of the social welfare and the effects of the sanctions were magnified. As a result, debts started to pile up and Venezuela had to seek China’s help for multibillion-dollar loans in exchange for Venezuelan oil. With US unrelenting pressure on its back, Maduro, who was nominated by Chavez at his deathbed to take over the leadership, relies on his most important trading partner and military ally, Russia.

Russia warned the U.S. not to intervene militarily in Venezuela, saying such a move would trigger a catastrophe. Moscow would stand with Venezuela to protect its sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in its domestic affairs. Diplomatically, Russia and China should stand together in the UN Security Council to block US bid to back the rebels, and call for respect of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Inquiry into the economic situation of Venezuela should be offered to the Maduro government, and any financial assistance from international financial institutions preferred by the Maduro government could be provided. To end Venezuela’s reliance on the US, Maduro has to look for new markets and partners. Russia’s Rosneft invested heavily in PDVSA, and China currently owns 49% of Sinovensa, a joint venture between China and Venezuela. For Venezuela, further opening up of the oil industry to Russia and China would help to secure profitable trades and technological advancement in the latest crude production. With expanded trades, Russia and China should consider building permanent ports in Venezuela to serve the Latin American market. Once the conditions in Venezuela stabilize, it is imperative that Maduroinvites more foreign direct investments and create jobs for the people. It is in our interest to see a fair and equitable solution to the Venezuelan Crisis, and to protect a nation’s sovereignty. Sanctions would only add to the suffering of the Venezuela people. It is time for Russia and China to step up to challenge the small group of countries led by the US that are behind the absurd coup d’état. Russia and China can end the Venezuelan Crisis.

Header Image: Reuters Mike Segar

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Geopolitics.

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