Around the country, people desperate for food and medicine have protested against the government in the face of ever-worsening shortages. Naturally, most pundits believe this situation is untenable.
If the Chavista regime does not provide a solution to the food and medicine shortages, many analysts believe people will eventually rise up. What these pundits fail to understand is that Venezuela’s problems are not caused by a collapse in the price of oil and a resulting lack of funds to provide basic necessities for the population.
At current oil prices, Venezuela has revenues larger than those of Perú, a country with an almost identical population.
These analysts have not come to terms with the fact that, hiding behind an electoral façade, Maduro is the head of a military regime with totalitarian control over the populace.
If at any time a group of people gather or protest, they will almost immediately be violently attacked by Chavista “colectivos”— the local euphemism for Brownshirts — with full support from the para-military Bolivarian National Guard. The main streets of every major barrio in the country are controlled by these modern-day, nazi-style Brownshirts.
Control over basic food staples and medicines are now in the hands of “Local Committees for Supply and Distribution” known by their Spanish acronym, CLAPS. Private supermarkets have now been limited to offering non-essential supplies.
These are local soviets, designed to control the population into submission. If your teenage son throws a rock at a National Guardsman, you do not get milk for your one-year-old.
Under these conditions, it’s almost impossible for the population to organize, rise up and topple a government that has already shown its willingness to shoot at its own citizens.
When will regional and international leaders, including the Obama administration, realize that in Venezuela’s case, doing nothing only results in more death?
Eventually, the attitude held by Venezuela’s neighbors will catch up to them. The worsening humanitarian crisis in the country of Simón Bolívar will destabilize the entire region, beginning with Colombia.
A good chunk of the problems will land on US shores. New York is closer to Caracas than Denver.