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What Supporting Democracy in Venezuela Spells for Guyana

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18th of August, 2020. Georgetown, Guyana, South America

Last updated: September 15, 2020 at 17:13 pm

Update: 14th of September, 2020. A US Military Plane carrying soldiers and military equipment lands in Guyana ahead of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who is expected to arrive on the 17th of September for a 2-days visit to Guyana.

The Trump Administration is growing increasingly desperate to oust Nicolas Maduro from power and restore, as they put it, “democracy” in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is perceived internationally to be a dictator who had rigged elections over the years in Venezuela. This resulted in sanctions which crippled the Venezuelan economy. But some experts claim that the inhumane US sanctions on Venezuela has less to do with democracy and more to do with the US’ greed for control over Venezuela’s 300 + billion barrels of oil – for which, they say, the United States is using Juan Guaido as a puppet.

While millions of Venezuelans have fled starvation in Venezuela and even live on the sidewalks of countries all over the world, the Chavista, Nicolas Maduro, backed by the powerful Venezuelan military, stands tall. There is no food shortage among the elites in Venezuela.

The closest ally of the United States in this power struggle is Colombia, and Trump’s most fearsome adversary was Russia – which repeatedly warned the United States not to carry out a military invasion of Venezuela.

But even if Russia softens its stance on Venezuela – which is what it seems to be doing now – the United States still has a lot of hurdles to overcome ahead of launching a military invasion into Venezuela. To begin with, Venezuela’s superior surface-to-air defense system will make an aerial operation a daunting task even for the United States. Secondly, a ground invasion would prove disastrous with the scores of armed gangs loyal to Maduro in Venezuela. And for this same reason, an occupation would be a daily suicide mission.

In 2019, the United States felt sure it was on the verge of toppling Maduro. American troops took up positions at the Venezuelan/Colombian border and Juan Guiado urged the Venezuelan military to cross over to avoid a military disaster. But this event only proved the unwavering loyalty that the Venezuelan military has for Maduro. What compounded the matter was that Brazil refused to let US Troops into Roraima. Without military backing from Brazil, and without having access to Guyana, a military invasion to topple Maduro would be disastrous if not impossible. The showdown winded down to a no-show. The Venezuelan military stood by Maduro and Juan Guiado subsequently fled to Colombia.

While the Venezuelan military is no match for the Brazilian military, it is still a force to be reckoned with – even for a country as large as Brazil, and the Brazil Defense Minister quoted that they would not allow US troops into Brazil for fears that it could provoke an all-out war between Brazil and Venezuela. Indeed, Brazil pursues a policy of peace and would only engage the military as a last resort. Further, Venezuela and Brazil are sister nations and Brazil has helped more Venezuelan refugees than any other country in the world.

But Brazil’s stance on Venezuela could change. With Donald Trump forging closer and friendlier ties with Bolsonaro, it is not impossible that Brazil could eventually allow US forces into the State of Roraima. Bolsonaro has already said that he sees Donald Trump as a “role model.” Nevertheless, it is the Brazilian Defense Ministry who has the final say in the matter, and not the president.

The previous APNU/AFC government in Guyana had stated a position that Venezuela’s problems should be resolved internally without foreign interference, but the new PPP/C government has given the green light to the United States that it “supports democratic transition in Venezuela.” A statement as simple as that has huge implications for Guyana. For one, it implies the tacit acceptance of US troops into Guyana as a vantage point for the US if the showdown actually develops into a military operation.

The United States has already moved warships to the Caribbean Sea in a show of power to the Maduro Regime. Trump seems to have already won the favor of the Russian president and Colombia offers full support to the United States against Maduro who they see as a “threat to peace and stability in the entire Region.” It appears as though it is only a matter of time before the United States sends troops and military equipment to the border of Venezuela and Guyana.

But would the Guyana government allow it? By all indications, yes. First of all, it is the United States military which is silently protecting Guyana from the Venezuelan threat over the Essequibo. Secondly, the United States had recently played a pivotal role in helping to remove the David Granger Administration which, according to local and international observers, was attempting to hold on to power by all means possible after losing the 2020 elections in Guyana, South America.

The only thing left then would be Brazil’s support for allowing US troops into Roraima. After that, Trump would to say to Maduro, “we’ve got you covered.” But we all know what Maduro’s response would be: “bring it on,” as he rallies his forces – air, land and sea.

Guyana has a vested interest in supporting US actions towards Venezuela. After all, the only thing preventing Venezuela from taking the Essequibo by force is the fear of the US military. However, we all need to hope and pray that the United States and its allies succeed in removing Maduro through diplomatic means and pressure instead of a military operation, or that if that happens, the United States makes it a quick one.

A poorly planned military operation against Venezuela would put the city of Georgetown, Guyana in grave danger. One thing you can be sure about: GDF forces would not be going to the frontlines of this war – if, God forbid, it ever comes to that. However, if the United States launches a military invasion into Venezuela using Guyana as an ally, it could see Venezuelan rockets fired into Guyana and Venezuelan military jets pounding Guyana – unless a proper defense system to shield Guyana is put in place beforehand. The operation would have to be lightning speed and resolute to be successful at any level. The bottom line: one wrong move in this game of chess and Guyana joins the long list of “oil ruined nations.”

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