The risks of an American intervention in Latin America
In April 2019, a failed plan to overthrow the regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela exposed the fragility of the Venezuelan opposition and its coordination with the United States and other countries in the region. The insurrection, besides not producing the expected results, served for the dictator Nicolás Maduro to deepen the witch hunt that resulted in the arrest of several civilians and military. He, however, got rid unscathed and continues to buy time.
It is difficult not to find Washington's fingerprints in this attempt, which weakened leader Juan Guaidó and served to harden the Chavista regime, now under the reasonable argument that there is an international plot against Venezuela. The United States does not seem to have learned from history. Usually, where they put their hands, the situation only gets worse. In Argentina, for example, the attempts to re-elect Maurício Macri resulted in his defeat, already in the first round, and for an exponent of the São Paulo Forum.
Now, the chances of Bolivia's interim president, Jeanine Àñez, of winning elections in that country are increasingly doubtful. Not to mention the revival of political and social tensions that put the poll, which has been postponed four times, at risk.
In addition, there are difficult processes in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. In Brazil, the alignment with Washington might also take an excessively high toll, such as the country's involvement in an armed conflict with Venezuela, for example. Despite the internal resistance to get involved in an intervention operation in the neighboring country, it is important not to ignore the persuasive power of the United States.
Recently, the US Ambassador to Brasília, Todd Chapman, spoke of reprisals and consequences in case Brazil decides to adopt the Chinese model of 5G technology. The message was clear. Obviously, the United States Embassy keeps pressing to drag Brazil into a more forceful and less diplomatic action in relation to the Venezuelan crisis and the political situation in Bolivia.
For many analysts, including Americans, the measures adopted by the White House to tighten immigration laws and access control on the border with Mexico indicate the United States' intention to intensify efforts to destabilize the region, currently focusing on Bolivia and Venezuela.
Armed action against Nicolás Maduro regime will, inevitably, lead to an increase in the migratory flow to Brazil, which, in sequence, will further complicate the socio-political and humanitarian situation in the country, aggravated by the coronavirus crisis. Besides all that, the chaos will also create favorable conditions for the rise of organized crime, including illegal drug trade.
In the perception of several analysts, the United States intentionally uses Brazil and its Armed Forces as an instrument of pressure to force political changes in Latin America, especially in Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua. To this end, as history abundantly records, it matters little to Washington not only Brazil’s national interests but also its conviction that it is much better to work for regional stability.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of InfoRel and a specialist in International Relations, Defense Strategies and Policies, Terrorism and Counterinsurgency and the Impact of Human Rights on Armed Conflicts. Email: email@example.com.