Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Venezuela’s Political, Humanitarian Crises

New York Times: Venezuela’s Crisis Spreads Beyond Its Borders
Editorial Board

“The tense standoff in Venezuela between Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó has morphed into something far larger than a contest for power between a failed leader still supported by parts of the army and die-hard leftists, and a young legislator propelled to the front by popular demonstrations. In part because of the Trump administration’s all-in support for regime change, the crisis has become a dangerous global power struggle. That’s the last thing Venezuelans need. There is no question that President Maduro must go, the sooner the better. … [H]e has led his oil-rich country into utter ruin. Its currency is useless, basic foods and medicines have disappeared, and more than three million people have fled, fomenting refugee crises in Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador. The only solution is an interim government under Mr. Guaidó, who as the head of the National Assembly has a legitimate claim to the presidency under the Venezuelan Constitution. It would lead to new presidential elections and a flood of emergency aid…” (2/5).

The Conversation: Venezuela: Denial of food is a human rights crime
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University

“…Venezuela’s food shortages are a consequence of state-induced hunger, not of any natural events. The Venezuelan government and its illegitimate leader, President Nicolás Maduro, are guilty of state food crimes. … Venezuela is guilty of more than violating the right to adequate food. Maduro’s government is knowingly and willingly starving its people. … Knowing a government’s policies create famine does not mean much can be done about it. States have the sovereign right to violate their citizens’ human rights. However, states cannot commit genocide or crimes against humanity. States’ rights are far more important to the international governing communities than the rights of starving citizens. This is why Russia and China will probably oppose any moves at the United Nations to arrest Maduro and other Venezuelan leaders for crimes against humanity. So for the foreseeable future, Venezuelans will continue to flee in search of food. They will find it increasingly difficult to do so, as the countries they try to enter, such as Colombia, crack down on legal migration. The result is irregular migration controlled by smugglers and armed groups…” (2/5).

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