Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Politicization Of Aid In Venezuela

New York Times: Venezuela’s Hunger Games
Editorial Board

“The Venezuelan political opposition and its many foreign supporters, the United States first among them, gambled that getting crucial humanitarian aid into the country would undermine military support for Nicolás Maduro and finally pry him out of the presidential palace. Alas, the first round failed recently. Despite some reported defections, the army blocked the aid at border crossings, often with violent confrontations. Now what? … The best outcome would be a negotiated deal between [opposition leader Juan] Guaidó and Mr. Maduro, possibly mediated by the United Nations, leading to free, internationally monitored elections. But for Mr. Maduro and his cronies, that is tantamount to surrendering power. The embattled president has fought back by depicting Mr. Guaidó as a stooge of Washington … It must be clear that Mr. Guaidó should be installed as interim leader only to allow for new, fair elections. Any suggestion that Mr. Guaidó was acting on behalf of Washington would undermine that message. It may take more time, and it may require cutting a deal with Mr. Maduro that would grant him and his cronies safe passage to refuge elsewhere, but maintaining a vociferous front of the Venezuelan opposition and a broad array of countries of all ideological leanings remains, for now, the best available option” (3/3).

Washington Post: The most effective way to help Venezuelans: Stop politicizing aid
Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development and professor at Georgetown University

“…The well-being of millions of Venezuelans depends on credibly distancing the aid operation from either side’s immediate political aims. Instead of high-profile confrontations over aid deliveries, focus must shift toward the painstaking work of negotiating neutral humanitarian access. … There are several immediate priorities. First, the United States should explicitly commit to impartial aid and stop tying the relief effort to its political aims. … Second, to depoliticize aid deliveries, the United States and other donors should cede leadership of the relief effort to more neutral players such as the U.N., the Red Cross, and NGOs. … Finally, the U.N. should ambitiously scale up its relief efforts and push back on the Maduro regime’s denial of the crisis. … It is still possible that Maduro would refuse all of this. But putting a U.S. government (and military) face on the aid operation all but ensures his refusal to cooperate. A credible and neutral U.N.-brokered aid operation might not advance anyone’s political objectives, but it does stand the best chance of actually saving the lives of suffering Venezuelans” (3/1).

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