The paper intends to explore the possible ways of making a positive change regarding Venezuela's economic, political, and social crisis. The country faces problems of soaring rates of crime, medicine shortages, as well as an increasingly authoritarian executive. In reality, Venezuela's woes result from the years of the economic mismanagement. There are incidences of falling prices of oil and the presence of the corrupt business elites of the country (Silva 91). There have to be some of the possible ways put in place to help in solving this kind of crisis.
The Rein of Chavez
In 1998, Venezuela elected Chavez, a former military officer who succeeded in launching an ill-fated coup in 1992 as their president on a platform of populist (Gott 475). As a candidate, the president railed against the elite of the country for widespread corruption. Moreover, he pledged to use the vast oil wealth of the nation for reducing inequality and poverty as well as increasing equity. Before the end of his presidency which lasted after dying in 2013, millions of acres of land were exploited by Chavez (Strother 1). Additionally, he nationalized several foreign-owned assets as well as private businesses. Some of the affected companies include oil projects that the ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil were running.
Chavez led the ALBA's formation (block leftists and socialist Latin American Governments. In effect, he established the alliance of Petro-Caribe in which the country agreed to the exportation of the petroleum at rates that are much discounted to a total of eighteen the Caribbean and Central American states (Marttnez 29). Shortly after taking office, Chavez significantly expanded the president's power. Afterward, a new constitution was approved by the voters that allowed him to run for another term. In this scenario, civilization control over the military was reduced, and the chamber of Congress also removed. In 2004, a couple of years after his brief removal from the office in a coup, the president decided to take the Supreme Court's control by expanding its size to accommodate the twelve judges he appointed (Juan-Kornblihtt 58). In 2009, he ended the limits of the presidential term by leading a successful referendum. In 2013, Maduro narrowly won the presidency and pledged to continue socialist revolution of his former boss.
Questions that regards the possible ways of solving the political, economic, and social problems in Venezuela are increasingly becoming urgent. In fact, the nation continues to plunge deeper into the economic and political abyss following the highly contested election (Strother 3). Ultimately, the election aimed to alter the constitution of the country in a way that some observers consider would be giving President Nicolas Maduro powers of dictatorship. Most of the Central American neighbors and Venezuela's South rejected the results of the vote (Silva 111). Also, there were incidences of charges of fraud, swelling of the protests in the street, and the new U.S sanctions.
Since March 2017, the crisis of Venezuela has continued to grow graver. More than one hundred and twenty lives have been claimed by street protests. Also, there has been a contraction of the economy by about thirty percent over the last four years. The country has the highest inflation (700%) in the whole world. Again, Venezuela's currency has plunged to about 200,000 from 630 bolivars to dollar in 2013 (Moncrieff-Zabaleta 155). As a consequence, life has become a daily struggle for most of the citizens. There is a general rate of unemployment which is accompanied by medicine and food shortages. The opposition has fueled the almost daily demonstrations in the street to what several people consider a violation of the constitution and the Maduro’s attack on the institutions of democracies, and also in response to the massive contraction of the economy (Strother 5). In reality, the economy is almost at a standstill. There is practically no prospect of negotiations between the various forces of opposition and the government of Maduro.
Recently, some of the events such as the jailing of the leaders of opposition and election have pushed the sides even further apart. After the election, Maduro has been feeling emboldened, thus making him less likely for compromising. At the moment, the president appears to be holding upper hand (Silva 116). Ultimately, such events are pushing the resolution to the streets. For this reason, he is likely to continue holding on to power forever.
Making a Positive Change Regarding the Crisis
Formation of an Interim Government
One of the best ways to make a positive change regarding Venezuela's economic, political, and social crisis is to form an interim government that is acceptable to both sides. Such government would be tasked with the responsibility of working with the international community (Strother 7). In effect, help will be provided with arranging aid of emergencies and loans for helping the country re-stabilize its economy as well as negotiating some of its foreign debt. The state has to focus more on incentives and not just sanctions and sticks alone. One among several solutions of transition that could work is the interim government.
China and Russia hold essential cards as a lender in Venezuela's attempts for reviving its economy. Some of the repayments of the significant debts are expected soon. Foreign debt in overall is estimated to be about five billion US dollars (Marttnez 31). Any help in rescheduling those repayments of loans could be vital in easing efforts toward short-term recovery of the economy. There is a possibility of such accommodation given that both Russia and China look forward to expanding their influence on politics in the region.
The Voice of America and the public diplomacy should be used by the United States for making clear that it does not intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela (Gott 477). It must also be stressed that the situation of the deterioration of human rights and the political liberties abrogation are regional concerns.
Leverage of the Defense Department
The military around the region has to be leveraged with the department of defense to stress to the security forces of Venezuela their obligations for upholding the democracy, constitution, and respect for the rights of a human. Other militaries should also be assured by the United States that military action is not being considered against Venezuela.
Equity versus Equality
Regarding the social developments, Venezuela is presenting a traditionally high inequality level primarily due to the welfare distribution. However, in all the social development indicators' the country practically leads its Andean neighbors. Some of the signs of social development include enrolment in education, especially at tertiary level. Because of inequality in the distribution of resources, poverty has remained a pressing issue when measured concerning low income or unemployment rather than severe deprivation. The poverty index of human stands at about 8.6 (Silva 121). The crisis can be reduced by distributing resources equitably within the country. There should also be equality for the government resources.
The economy of Venezuela depends majorly on its oil sector. The sector represents about 80 percent of the country’s total exports, 30% of the GDP, and the more than 50% of the revenue of the public budget (Strother 8). The prices of oil make the GDP of the country to fluctuate. The only problem is that the resources are not distributed equitably. As a consequence, there are a few rich people and several poor ones. There should be equality in the provision of the employment opportunities to the citizens. The loss of the foreign exchange reserves that the capital flight from Venezuela causes can be stemmed by reducing the maximum amount of the foreign exchange that the banks can hold (Strother 10). Currency dealers should also be prohibited from the sale of US dollars to companies that are non-residents.
This paper has explored some of the possible ways of making a positive change regarding Venezuela's economic, political, and social crisis. It is reported that some of the best options for effecting such changes are through the formation of the interim government, leverage of the defense department, and the public diplomacy. People must also understand the difference between equality and equity to help in approaching the crises that the country faces. In practice, there is little that can be done by the United States on its own for affecting change within Venezuela. However, protracted social, economic, and political crises would be damaging to the long-term interests of the United States in protecting the rights of a human, promoting sustainable economic growth and representative democracy in the Western Hemisphere, as well as curbing some of the illicit flows of finance from Venezuela corruption.
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