Venezuela: What Has to Happen?

Ana Cristina Bracho

Fighting continues from February 2011 to the present and no state has ever been restored in Libya following NATO operations there.

A resigned friend, sitting in the corner of the room and overwhelmed by these days, said, “whatever has to happen,” convinced that what would happen in Venezuela, in the event of a military intervention, would last a few hours or perhaps a few days and then give way to normality. The following day, in the office, amidst the accumulated tiredness, a colleague said the same thing and kept walking and then, the repetition of the phrase, in the same order and intensity stopped being casual.

The current U.S. policy in Venezuela is to exhaust Venezuelans through “suffocation,” “increased suffering,” and “isolation of the country. It also means making us believe that we no longer have anything to lose. That whatever comes, whichever it is, will be less dramatic and difficult than what we are currently experiencing.

But this is not true. What we are experiencing has a very important dimension. After two years of financial difficulties, blocking the financial system causing embarrassment or diverting merchandise, we are now living a process destined to make us disappear from the continental political map.

The times of embarrassment are long gone. Now, Bolsonaro sits in Washington to discuss Venezuela with Trump while he seeks to have the treatment Israel receives in NATO and is the first foreign leader to visit the CIA. This is happening at a time when we have a situation of extreme tension with Colombia and the United States dedicates certain of its officials, full time, to inventing punishments against Venezuela.

What is happening has an economic impact that has been calculated by Pascualina Curcio who affirms that the losses reach a total of 114,302 million dollars, which could have enabled the full supply of medicines for 30 million Venezuelans for 26 years or the full guarantee of the right to education, provided by private individuals and by the State for 10 years.

Equally atrocious is the social impact of this reality that has brought back the social indicators where frank progress had been made: such as the decrease in infant mortality or maternal deaths as reflected in the report “Desde Nosotras” (US) by the Research Team El Entrompe de Falopio on the situation of women’s human rights in Venezuela in 2018.

There are also the psychological impacts of being subjected to a life where regardless of whether we work more, if we earn in bolivars we will have less, or, the blatant promotion of emigration among an entire generation of professionals who, at no cost and universally, were made by the Revolution.

Finally, there is also the political damage suffered by a country that has been subjected to a formula according to which elections are not worthwhile because someone no one voted for can be President just because they have the backing of foreign forces, or the wear and tear of having to remain in a defensive position when many other evils, such as corruption or limited popular participation in public management, are increasing.

But none of this means that what comes when “whatever has to happen” will be better or simpler. Not even if an intervention means a return to life in the country before the economic sanctions that continue to haunt our daily lives.

Because life has not been simpler for any of the countries that have been invaded by the United States, especially in the last two decades where the arrival of the United States has subjected countries to eternal wars and to living in conditions equivalent to the Middle Ages. Even now that Syria is winning the war, the United States is doing everything possible to prevent peace in the region.

In our case, there are plans that are being leaked as to the imagined day after Chavismo in Venezuela, characterized by the construction of an oil exploitation scheme that destroys the minimal protections the country has had over its minerals since Independence, in which there is talk of the possibility of granting ownership over the resources and facilities required to exploit them to foreign companies; where an economic model similar to the one built in Mexico in the government of Peña Nieto is designed and these models require societies to which norms such as those implemented in Colombia and Mexico are applied in order to suppress social protests.

So what is the day after? What has to happen?