Military intervention in Venezuela and its impacts on the region
Rumors surrounding a possible military intervention as a way for the overthrow of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro are gaining strength. The patience of the United States seems to have reached the limit. The challenge now is to know how the region will behave.
South America took decades to consolidate itself as a zone of peace and safety. There is an important asset in play that seems relegated to the background. For the United States, it matters little how all this may end, as long as Nicolás Maduro is taken from power.
Despite the resemblance of the standpoints by Brasilia and Washington regarding the Venezuelan crisis, for Brazil it is essential to maintain a position that reinforces the precepts of peace, prosperity and stability. For the White House, in the other hand, the rule is "whatever it costs", no matter what the consequences.
While the diplomatic instruments of pressure leave Venezuela more and more isolated, Donald Trump prefers to escalate tensions by creating a real threat that could end in a bloodbath. Over the years, collectives and militias linked to the Chavista regime have armed themselves to defend the government. They are groups that nobody controls and that are willing to go for everything or nothing.
The trend is a significant worsening of humanitarian issues, especially in the border regions of that country, including, of course, Brazil. The perception is that the United States now feels comfortable to intervene without observing any legal limitation, as in the times they would overthrow governments and install puppets in their places.
There is an increase in the presence of US intelligence agencies throughout the region, and this scenario fuels concerns about a “cold” occupation, which is a prelude to military intervention. Under Trump, Washington seems comfortable in actively promoting the idea of extending its military presence in Latin America, including in Brazilian territory.
The resolution of the Venezuelan crisis does not pass through ultimatums or threats. And this does not interest the countries of the region. We gain absolutely nothing from this, and when chaos installs itself, it will be us who will have to manage it.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning the omission of regional mechanisms (OAS, CELAC, UNASUR, MERCOSUR) and the UN itself, which seems to pretend that there is no conflict at all in South America.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of InfoRel and a specialist on International Relations, Strategies and Policies for Defense, Terrorism and Counterinsurgency, Human Rights in Armed Conflicts and Defense Diplomacy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.