President Trump has condemned Maduro’s government for the violence that unfolded over the weekend as trucks attempted to bring food and supplies to desperate Venezuelans. He warned that violations “will not go unpunished,” and told the military to “uphold its constitutional duty to protect the citizens of Venezuela.”
President Trump has also said a “military option” is possible as the US has called on Maduro to step down.
Geek out on a simple explanation of what happened to this country-in-crisis.
Then, consider this: Should the US invade Venezuela?
Let’s take a look.
The US should invade Venezuela NOW.
Hyperinflation in Venezuela is at about one million percent per year, and 61% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty. 89% don’t have the money to buy enough food for their families. 64% say they have lost an average of 24 pounds from being hungry. More than 280,000 children are at risk for death due to severe malnutrition.
Infant and maternal mortality have risen by 30% (infant) and 65% (mothers) since 2016. Hospitals are estimated to have only 30% of the basic medication to treat infectious diseases. Immunization programs are struggling, and its estimated that only 52% of Venezuelans have received their second dose of the MMR vaccine.
Measles, once eradicated from the country, has returned, along with malaria and diphtheria.
About 7% of the population, or 3 million people, have fled the country, mostly to Colombia.
A Reuters reporter and photographer traveled with a group of migrants en route to Chile.
By the time dawn rises over Caracas, hungry people are already picking through garbage while kids beg in front of bakeries. Come dusk, many Venezuelans shut themselves inside their homes to avoid muggings and kidnappings. In a country with the world’s largest proven crude reserves, some families now cook with firewood because they cannot find propane. Hospitals lack supplies as basic as disinfectant. Food is so scarce and pricey that the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds last year.
Maduro’s role and lawlessness
Under Maduro, violence, hyper inflation and shortages of food and medical supplies have led to mass protests. In an effort to control the uprisings, the government has arrested, beat, tortured and murdered its own citizens.
High-ranking officials and members of the president’s family are facing narcotics charges in the United States.
Illegal mining camps run by criminal gangs are employing desperately hungry people in unsafe conditions, all of which is under military protection.
Holes left by miners breed mosquitoes, and malaria cases are exploding in these areas. The World Health Organization announced that malaria in Venezuela rose from to 240,613 in 2016 to 406,000 in 2017.
And, it’s not over: Maduro was elected in a sham to a second six-year term.
Geek out on more Venezuela background.
worldwide support of Juan Guaido
The NY Times reports that over 50 countries recognize Juan Guaido, the speaker of the national assembly, as the country’s interim president until a democratic election names a successor.
Invading Venezuela is not the solution.
Maduro’s control of the army
Maduro still has control and the backing of the military. Venezuela’s armed forces have stated their support for Maduro and their intention to stop any coup attempts against him. Blood was already spilled at the border as trucks with food and supplies were prevented from entering.
US military action could be met with resistance from the 515,000 Venezuelan fighters.
humanitarian crisis could worsen
Food shortages and lack of medical supplies could worsen, in a country in which garbage picking is already common.
a long stay
U.S. troops would need to be ready to remain in Venezuela for a long time in order to get the country back on its feet, as their electricity grids, sewage systems, hospitals, schools, and other basic infrastructure are decimated.
the Cuba, China and Russia problem
Cuba, China and Russia support the Maduro presidency. Do we want a conflict with Cuba, China and Russia?