The situation in Venezuela is delicate with the political tensions in the country having reached a level of intolerance that forces neighbouring countries and allies to intervene. The United States is in a unique position where the country desires to intervene but mistakes made in some other countries like Libya hold the country back (Crabb 1). The President should therefore make a decision on which way to go and the foreign policy regarding Venezuela.
The president should adopt a moderate strategy that includes both diplomacy and a push to have democracy adhered to in the country. With the humanitarian crisis deepening in Venezuela, the first step is for the president of the United States to establish contact with the self-proclaimed President Nicholas Maduro. This should be done through an envoy appointed by the President and through a consultative approach with the Venezuela foreign affairs ministry. For many diplomats, the fear is that such a move would legitimize Maduro as the leader of the country. However, this would be the first step in achieving democracy.
The second step would be for the envoy to negotiate with the regime to allow relief efforts in the country especially relief food. One of the challenges in Venezuela is that humanitarian aid has been blocked at major entry points (Quintana et al. 128). This means that the people are suffering yet there are countries willing to help the people. By allowing the humanitarian aid to enter the country, the regime will have shown commitment to the people and being committed to ensuring that the people can make a choice and a democratic decision.
The next step is for the envoy to negotiate and have Maduro and the Venezuelan regime to accept to conduct a free and fair election with several election reforms that are aimed at increasing transparency. The aim of such a move is to ensure that the change in regime, if any, is affected by the people of Venezuela and not the United States government. This step is crucial because stability in Venezuela can only be achieved with relative trust from the people in the country and the region at large.
The United States government should avoid some issues that can be deal breakers. For example, publicizing the negotiations and work of the special envoy may be counterproductive. Venezuela is currently in crisis because the interests that exist in the country are diverse and the people are torn in between loyalties (Talbi and Amel 164). While the political divide in the country is clear for all to see, all sides have expressed an interest for a democratic process to elect a legitimate government. This is the area that the US should leverage without making the negotiation public or showboating about it. The envoy appointed should also be a diplomat with no past negative record in the region. Any suspicion of bias can break the negotiations down hence the need to have negotiations based on trust and mutual respect.
In conclusion, the crisis in Venezuela does not seem to have a viable end that does not involve negotiations and diplomacy. Approaches such as sanctions and threats against the regime have failed while support for Juan Guaido has not brought about any change in tone in the country. The US should take leadership in diplomacy and develop a strategy that will give the power to make change back to the people of Venezuela.
Crabb, John. "OFAC Designation of Russian Bank a Warning to Maduro’s Supporters." International Financial Law Review, 2019.
Quintana, Luis, Carlos Salas, and Ronny Correa-Quezada. "Crisis, Employment and Inequality in Latin America: A National and Regional Analysis between Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador." Investigaciones Regionales, no. 43, 2019, pp. 129-147.
Talbi, Mariem, and Ben H. Amel. "Global Contagion of Investor Sentiment during the US Subprime Crisis: The Case of the USA and the Region of Latin America."
International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, vol. 9, no. 3, 2019, pp. 163-174.
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