Venezuela has attracted international media attention for decades. The populist regime installed by Ugo Chavez in 1999 pretended to be the quintessence of the 21st century revolutionary policies.
Hailed by leftists and ‘anti-imperialists,’ Chavez managed to isolate, by force, any critical voice and to rule the country for almost 20 years.
But, despite the fact that Venezuela is an oil producing country, in the years of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ the economic situation deteriorated and the poverty suffered by a considerable part of the population became acute and endemic.
What is more, a new ‘bolivarian’ nomenclature was created which tried to secure its rule for eternity.
As a result, the deep economic crisis has provoked widespread discontent and mass demonstrations. And, with most of the population hit by hunger, the public has turned against the regime. The president of the country, Nicolas Maduro, ordered police to open fire against students in the streets.
The situation in Venezuela concerns the EU since a new economic agreement of cooperation between Europe and MERCOSUR, which involves the entire Latin American continent, is slated for the end of the year.
The European Parliament has condemned the brutal repression exercised by Venezuelan security forces and irregular armed groups against the peaceful demonstrations in Venezuela. As many as 30 people died while many more were wounded and arrested protesting against the government of Maduro.
In a resolution adopted on April 27, MEPs called on the Venezuelan authorities to urgently allow humanitarian aid into a country which is facing critical food and medicine shortages.
“For several years now we have witnessed violence, oppression and starvation in Venezuela,” said European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. “We see young students killed on the streets while protesting, desperate people foraging for food in garbage, children dying in hospitals because of lack of medical supplies, political opponents sent to jail or barred from running in elections. We see the Venezuelan people brought to its knees by a regime that shows complete disregard for democracy and rule of law, isolating the country from the international community.”
Tajani called for an electoral calendar paving the way for free and transparent elections and for all political prisoners must be immediately released. He said opponents should be allowed to participate in free and fair elections.
It is necessary for the tense situation in Venezuela to calm down. The way in which Maduro’s regime is reacting concerns the economy of the entire continent, as well as posing a serious threat for human rights.
MERCOSUR or Southern Common Market, is a kind of regional common market that has full members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay), associate countries (Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname), and observers (New Zealand and Mexico).
Practically, it involves a huge group of countries and a powerful market.
Venezuela, initially a full member, was suspended in December 2016.
Given the gap created by the new international orientation of US policy (proposed by the Trump administration) in South and Central America, it is the perfect moment for the European Union to enter in a traditionally US dominated market.
Stability in the most important economies, such as the one of Venezuela, is absolutely necessary for a mutual profitable cooperation. And, after Colombia entered the path towards peace, following agreements reached with the communist rebels, it is necessary to find a peaceful solution for Venezuela.