A Desperate Plea For Democracy

By Aidan

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As of two or so months ago, Venezuela’s inflation rate has reached a jaw-dropping 2.7 million percent as Venezuela’s economy only spirals further downwards, but the question on everyone’s mind is naturally, how did this even happen? 

The answer to that lies directly in the Venezuelan president  Nicolas Maduro’s blatant mockery of a democratic nation from quite possibly forging election results to blocking humanitarian aid to his own citizens who are dying in the streets daily. Nicholas Maduro is a threat to his own people and his removal from office is essential to the recovery of Venezuela as a country. 

Nicolas Maduro was sworn into office on April 19, 2013, following the death of the then president, Chavez. Capturing just 51% of the total votes against rival Capriles. Allegations of a forged election swarmed Maduro almost immediately after the results came to light but unfortunately for the Venezuelan people, the controversies had only just begun for the new president.   

Nicolas Maduro has exemplified time and time again his inability to hold his country together, but what comes to mind is Maduro’s recent choice to block humanitarian aid to his own people.  This complete lack of remorse all because “they did not vote in the government’s favor.” which brings up the other point that Maduro has also been bashed with claims stating the election results were rigged and that he was, therefore, not the legitimate president. During all this controversy how has Maduro treated it? By creating a salsa radio show and staging dances in public right next to his dying people of course. 

Now, through all of this what can, Venezuela do to turn their country around? While removing Maduro from office may seem like a quick fix to all of Venezuela’s looming problems but the reality is, unfortunately, much more complicated. To remove Maduro from office would require many steps each nearly impossible due to his tight grip on the country. Maduro’s complete obliviousness and overall lack of remorse for his own citizens are glaring reminders that his ego is too large to admit his failures.  

Another example of countless bad decisions Maduro has made was his choice to destroy PDVSA which is an iconic oil and gas company that was vastly contributing to Venezuela’s economy and Maduro reason for destroying this vital tool to his country? In true Maduro fashion, it was his wild and completely unjustified premonition that the company was corrupt and fiscally irresponsible, oh the irony.  

The removal of Maduro from office is not a new concept and in fact, there have been multiple petitions each gaining far more signatures than the required amount to issue a recall vote yet each time Maduro managed to weasel his way out of trouble.  The first incidence was when the national electoral commission initiated paperwork that could begin to issue a recall for Maduro.  

The first step was for at least 1% of eligible voters sign a petition requesting a recall, and the second step required a larger 20% to actually issue a recall. By early May Nearly a month after this plan had started the opposition had collected 1.8 million signatures, nine times the required amount (two hundred thousand).  Unsurprisingly the electoral commission was horribly slow moving enough so that Maduro was able to make claims that “a deadline for the initial petition had passed” as well as “the petitions contained falsified signatures” and so just like that Maduro’s plan to delay the possibility of a recall. To make matter worse in the coming days he then declared a renewable 60-day state of emergency which in turn gave the military and police more power for the sake of keeping order but what this also did was it allowed Maduro to “work around the legislature”.

 

Work Cited:

“Corbyn has no idea what it’s like for Venezuelans like me.” Independent [London, England], 1 Feb. 2019, p. 34. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A571907218/GIC?u=60iskl&sid=GIC&xid=25ee41ac. Accessed 8 Apr. 2019.

“Venezuela crisis and US interference in Latin America – EDITORIAL.” Sri Lanka Daily Mirror [Colombo, Sri Lanka], 11 Feb. 2019. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A573512781/GIC?u=60iskl&sid=GIC&xid=fbafb3a6. Accessed 8 Apr. 2019. 

Wallenfeldt, Jeff. “Nicolás Maduro.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Mar. 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Nicolas-Maduro

Image:  “Raids, Media Shutdowns and Internet Disruptions amid Venezuela Crisis.” Committee to Protect Journalists, cpj.org/2019/01/raids-media-shutdowns-and-internet-disruptions-ami.php. 

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-03-18/10-outrageous-quotes-venezuela-s-nicolas-maduro