Tue | Jan 25, 2022

Venezuela on verge of Syria-like collapse

Published:Tuesday | May 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Writing for the May 28, 2017 edition of The Sunday Gleaner, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, the foreign minister, called for "mediation" as part of the solution to Venezuela's political and economic crisis. I am strongly opposed to any such compromise based on the following two reasons.

First, Venezuela was once an oil-rich, prosperous nation, and today, after many years of socialist economic mismanagement, there is turmoil everywhere. The country is facing one of the most devastating crises in the history of the Americas. The people have little food, and in recent times, the military has taken control of food distribution. Starvation is rampant everywhere.

This cannot continue. Some flexing of muscles must take place to avert full-scale civil war.

Second, the government continues on a path that now makes the city of Caracas the murder capital of the Americas. Crime and violence is present everywhere, and as if to add insult to injury, the socialist administration of President Nicol·s Maduro has embarked on a programme to suppress and repress all opposition forces.

The nation is in a state of panic. And don't we all know, national panic makes bad policy and false prisoners.

Venezuela should not be allowed to become the Syria of the Americas. It is time for the flexing of muscles to open up the economy to the free-market system. Return to freedom and democracy and allow capitalism to lift its suffering people and let them enjoy prosperity. The free market alone guarantees ultimate political stability.