The world has sat back and watched Venezuela spin out of control as the economy tumbles, the people starve, electricity is scarce, and looting and rioting take over, but is it too late to help? Maybe not. The Obama administration has been working to find the right balance between a way to help the flailing country without affecting their own economy and they may have found a solution.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry in a report by El Nacional, made the announcement during an OAS meeting that the US plans to support plans for a fair and timely recall that could work towards replacing the country’s failing government under President Nicolas Maduro. While there is no set time frame, Secretary Kerry did specify that the US views fair and timely to be within this year.
The reason Secretary Kerry is so specific according to Mr. David Osio is because the recall referendum must be done before January 10, 2017 or Maduro’s Vice President could have the chance to step in and succeed him. Delaying the process also gives Maduro supporters time to organize a militia that could powerfully continue to force the leftist movement that derived from former dictator of the country Hugo Chavez.
While there are numerous reasons to rush the process, recently at an OAS meeting Luis Almagro, the secretary general of OAS, issued a report requesting Venezuela be revoked from the Latin American organization and backed the oppositions request for a recall vote. He outlined the downfall of the country, 700 percent inflation, #130 billion in foreign debt, and a skyrocketing rate of 76 percent poverty. The longer the referendum is pushed back, the worse the humanitarian crisis becomes and could lead to the end of Venezuela all together. A full recap of his report along with discussions at OAS can be viewed here.
For now, until decisions are made, citizens of the country continue to go without basic necessities like food, water, and medicine. The US is willing to help as they can, but with the unbalanced relationship between Venezuela and the US, going forward with too much force will play into Maduro’s hands and create more problems. OAS has to move forward and push the agenda, and it must be backed by Latin Americans as a whole.