On the edge of our hyper-connected reality, any international happening that holds high levels of media interest can generate a quick outburst of unrequested opinions, analysis, and criticism. E.g., since the very beginning of the Venezuelan crisis in 2013, much has been speculated about the roots of the sociopolitical issues of this formerly rich Latin American disaster.
Though common sense leads us to believe that the starring participants would be the best candidates to explain what is going on, must of us Venezuelans have a level of comprehension that makes us fall prey to the obvious: we are really bad… but why?
Asking on the streets of downtown Caracas, the answers would be predictable: dictatorship, corruption, Cuba or, among Maduro’s bigots and left-wingers, the strike back of el Imperio of North America. But the shallowness of Venezuelans’ arguments about the Venezuelan Crisis lays bare our lack of understanding regarding its causes and responses.
Set the stage for the conspiratorial spectators of the play. We will discuss some mysterious features of this Latin American show which made it the overwhelming drama it is. So much so that we Venezuelans gradually started to ignore it with the aim of preserving our mental health.
The Hand that’s Rocking the Cradle
Despite the affirmations of Nicolas Maduro about his mystical links with Hugo Chávez through daydreaming manifestation, it is unlikely that the so-called Supreme Commander is still leading the currently 19-year-old revolution from beyond.
Five years after Chavez’s death and mythification, millions of Venezuelans are still in doubt regarding the real role of Maduro inside the party as the leader of chavism. Conversely, many — like me ─ think that Maduro is acting like a poorly rehearsed populist dictator, but that supposition entails another question: who is directing him through this Venezuelan Crisis?
Several names are coming to mind. Diosdado Cabello, the foul old right hand of the Commander, or Tareck El Assimi, the current Vice-president allegedly linked to Arab mafias, or maybe the Rodriguezes, two sibling public workers that have become mysteriously rich since their apparition on the left-wing scene. They’re all starring actors in Chavez’s posthumous script. All accused of being involved in acts of corruption, torture, and organized crime.
Whatever the answer, whether if the revolutionary crew is working together or if there is an almighty evil orchestra director behind the mess, what remains is the massive feeling that Maduro is nothing more than a silly actor performing the role of a tyrant.
Venezuelan Crisis: Ghost of the Economic War
Commonly, any opponent of Maduro would be suspicious of anyone that trusts in left-wingers’ beliefs about the so-called economic war. Usually, because the red party has given that argument as a pardon for their sociopolitical responsibilities.
The term, first used by Hugo Chavez and continuously repeated by some of his already-mentioned heirs, complains about the existence of international economic interference that aims to harm the revolution. It might be cynic that Chavism is excusing their faults with unproven conspiracies, but denying the likelihood that some agents are pulling the strings of the Venezuelan economy would be a stubborn position.
If you want to unmask the ghost of financial instability, Dolar Today should be one of the first suspects. To sum everything up, this is the only news portal that has been reporting about the number of Bolivars (Venezuelan currency) that people are willing to pay for each dollar on the free market. Basically here’s where everyone gets to know the exchange rate that later is used to fix the prices of everything that’s sold.
Sounds tricky, right? Especially when you think about how this website, officially blocked by the Government, has influenced the devaluation of the Bolivar (Bs.) although their methods to calculate exchange rates are not proven and there’s a profound lack of information about its managers. Yes, the economics of a whole country is influenced by a speculative website.
International Movements to Blame for Venezuelan Crisis?
Though affirming that the US Government is behind this wouldn’t be more than pure sensationalism, it cannot be denied that there have been some recent political and economic movements from western diplomats that indicate deep international wishes for a regime change in the country. This is then, naturally, the next suspect.
There are several examples of camouflaged international interference. A look at the Spanish-American War proves to us that diplomatic behavior always entails ultimate political goals. Unfortunately, we don’t really know what those goals are if the owner of Dolar Today is the real master of puppets, but we do know that this economic mess is completely insane.
USD has increased by 12% in Venezuela since I started to write this article two days ago.
A Hesitating Opposition
Political science has reduced the ways to gain power to two possibilities: you fight against your political enemies or you join them strategically. We’d love to know what path the opposition party, a supposed adversary of Chavism, has taken. Yet, behind the shades of protests and dialogues, the answer is still uncertain.
Suspiciously incoherent instructions, from civil rebellion to mass voting, confused supporters of the opposition took them far away from their ranks and left them with the bitter taste of knowing they were turned into pawns of an unnecessarily extended chess game. A game where both parties act with the same irresponsibility.
Will the Mystery of the Venezuelan Crisis be Solved?
As the curious guy I am, I’d really like to have the answers to all the questions, perhaps to have the temporary comfort of understanding a piece of the problem. However, as a lesson many Venezuelans have learned, some mysteries are not worth worrying about. A lesson some have internalized by fleeing out of the country or by paying less attention to the economic issue that has turned the Venezuelan Crisis into a humanitarian emergency. At the end, I only think that whoever is behind the curtain, and whatever the outcome of the play is, they’re directing one of the saddest tragedies of this century.