Opinion: The illegitimacy of U.S. interferences in Venezuelan internal affairs
The Point

Reforms by a country may end with success or a fiasco, an expert says, and outside players shouldn't be entitled to decide what is right or wrong. However, in the current political chaos in Venezuela, the U.S. has found it hard to stand aside. 

The U.S. has backed the declaration by opposition leader Juan Guaido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, that he is Venezuela's “interim president” with President Donald Trump tweeting that Nicolas Maduro's presidency is “illegitimate.”  

Maduro hit back at Trump's announcement by cutting ties with the U.S. and ordering all American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours.

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U.S.-Venezuela ties have been “antagonistic” and the former Spanish colony is a thorn in U.S. eyes, said Victor Gao, vice president of Center for China and Globalization.

“Some decision-makers in the U.S. still cling to the legacy of the Monroe doctrine,” Gao said, referring to Washington's “stick or carrot” policy that was initiated in the colonial period to wield geopolitical hegemony in the Americas. 

Many Latin American countries believe the doctrine is already dead, he added, as they don't want to be an American puppet. 

Ecuadoran former President Rafael Correa. / VCG File Photo

Ecuadoran former President Rafael Correa. / VCG File Photo

Rafael Correa, former president of Ecuador, in an interview with RT, warned that Washington's reckless regime-change push might set a dangerous precedent, and Gao said that Venezuela may on the brink of a possible “civil war.”

The U.S. doesn't need further intervention, including more sanctions and military and CIA efforts, to affect the situation, said Ivan Eland, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, an American think tank.

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“The situation is going to take care of itself because it's made such a mess of the Venezuelan economy,” Eland said, referring to the economic crisis in the country.

He reasoned that the government's socialist policies are driving hyperinflation and a lack of daily necessities like food, water, electricity and medicine. The policies are putting an immigration burden on its neighbors.

Gao insisted the U.S. sanctions serving its own geopolitical purpose should end soon, and countries have the right, in political and social experiments, to engage in reforms of all kinds.

China on Thursday said it opposes any “external interference” in Venezuelan domestic affairs, calling for a peaceful dialogue under favorable conditions.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin called Maduro and expressed his support, condemning “external interference” by the U.S. and its allies a “gross” violation of international law. 

Citing the suspicion of Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Gao asked: "Does this grant any countries to declare Mr Trump as an illegitimate president of the U.S.?" He doesn't think the Americans will accept that. 

(Cover photo: Signs left by protestors signal support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro outside the Venezuelan Consulate in New York, January 24, 2019. /VCG Photo)

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