Editorial. 24th of January, 2021. Georgetown, Guyana, South America.Last updated: January 25, 2021 at 9:53 am
So as to avoid a total destruction of Georgetown and the loss of civilian lives on the ground, any military operation against Venezuela needs to be carefully planned and swiftly executed. If Venezuela declares war against Guyana – which by now is a very serious likelihood, any delay by the United States in responding and taking down Maduro would result in a catastrophic disaster for Guyana. Needless to say, Guyana and Venezuela are already engaged in a cold war that could, unfortunately, heat up at any moment.
“I signed a decree on the creation of the Venezuelan Atlantic facade territory. It is approved, please proceed with implementation. For Venezuela and Essequibo!” Maduro said during a meeting with the State Council and the National Defense Council.nicolas maduro – thursday, jan 7, 2021
It is obvious by now that Maduro is bent on annexing the Essequibo, or that in his mind, the Essequibo is already part of Venezuela. And, the recent act of seizing Guyanese fishing vessels from under the nose of US maritime patrol is evidently a cry for war. About two years ago, Maduro provoked tensions and warnings from the international community by intercepting an oil ship. A Venezuelan spokesperson subsequently claimed that the vessel was not in the disputed territory but in Venezuela’s waters. But this time, the Venezuelan military has seized two fishing vessels which were undisputedly in Guyana’s waters or the disputed territory. This is an act of pure aggression and a signal that Maduro is not afraid of the United States.
Let’s not go into the fact that Venezuela has more oil than Guyana, and that seizing the Essequibo will not help the Venezuelan economy – that is true, but that’s totally irrelevant at this time. What’s important is that Maduro is angry and jealous at Guyana’s incoming oil wealth from territories that he unjustifiably thinks is partly his.
Sending GDF Troops to the border with Venezuela would, speculatively, precipitate a military disaster. If the Guyana government sends GDF troops and military equipment to the border, then the Venezuelan military would have to respond in kind and send troops from the National Bolivarian Armed Forces to the border. And the GDF is no match for the National Bolivarian Armed Forces either in manpower or weaponry. On the other hand, not sending forces to the border leaves the territory and population vulnerable to a real and present danger of a Venezuelan incursion.
According to Global Fire Power, as of 2021, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces boasts a total of 345,000 active personnel with 14,000,000 available manpower, 10,000 reserves and 220,000 paramilitary. For airpower, it boasts 44 fighter jets, 80 helicopters and 10 attack helicopters.
The United States has been applying sanctions to Venezuela over the past decade – sanctions that have been described by one US Humanitarian Organization as “fruitless and heartless.” US sanctions have only succeeded in bringing suffering to the general Venezuelan population, and not in removing Maduro or turning the military against him. Aside from a few hundred defectors who fled to neighboring Colombia, Maduro has proven that he has a stranglehold on the Venezuelan military that is hard, if not impossible, to break.
The United States’ reckless recognition of Juan Guiado as Venezuela’s interim president has only served to endanger the life of the hopeful political leader and cause a bitter division amongst the Venezuelan people – but nothing more. Early this year, Jaun Guiado faced threats from the National Guard troops while trying to enter the parliament building as Maduro allies tried to bully him out of his position as leader of the National Assembly. His life and future are now in jeopardy as Maduro tightens his reigns and vows to revive the Venezuelan economy through the use of cryptocurrency (again).
It is time the United States stop playing games with the lives of the Venezuelan people, and stop precipitating needless suffering of innocent Venezuelan men, women and children. The time has come now to either lift the sanctions and allow the Venezuelan economy to revive or launch a military operation and take Maduro out once and for all. US sanctions have not been punishing Maduro, but innocent civilians on the ground who know little of politics or foreign policies.
On this note, any military operation against Maduro needs to be well planned, swift and resolute so as to minimize the loss of lives – either military or civilian. Further, any military operation against Venezuela must be swift and resolute so as not to give the Venezuelan military time to attack Guyana. Maduro has already stated that “Venezuela has a glorious history in the battlefield,” and he has used violent expressions such as “tear out the heart of the enemy” when talking about the prospects of war. Indeed, the Venezuelan military is one to be reckoned with. And with the ongoing showdown between the United States, Guyana and Venezuela – the country in greatest peril is Guyana, South America.