In the mouth of many political analysts and opinion-makers, local and external, the reasoning has become frequent according to which the transition to democracy in Venezuela has not been possible due to the political, financial and military support of the so-called “allied countries” of the government; specifically: Russia, China Iran, Turkey, Cuba and Nicaragua. Actually, I think the matter deserves a deeper look.
Certainly, the political support of these countries is a factor that should not be minimized, since they have a common denominator: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” From there, everyone has their own interests.
Military support is shared by Russia and Iran, as it represents good business for both and in the case of Russia, it is now a chess piece that plays with the USA and the European Union in their conflict over Ukraine and with the Western world.
For Iran, it is also a media element that strengthens the idea that “they are not alone” or isolated internationally. In the case of Turkey, the large commercial and financial brokerage deals are reason enough.
For the others, especially Cuba and Nicaragua, which cannot be “put in the same bag” with the rest of the new left-wing populist governments, Venezuela has been nothing other than a good source of financial resources for their survival, in view of of the failure of their economies.
For its part, China is interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to do business, but mainly in laying hands on the country’s natural resources in exchange for the gigantic debt that has been contracted with them, particularly coltan and gold, since they are strategic minerals in their plans for economic domination of the world.
However, it should be clarified that, except for the case of Cuba, whose interference in Venezuelan political decisions is as notable as the amount of money and benefits it obtains in return, the support of the rest of the “allied countries” is practically reduced to the declarative, to its use as a pawn of its own game of interests, to the demand for support and to the interference in the political decisions of multilateral organizations.
Loot and power
So, as long as the national government continues to satisfy their needs and interests, even at the cost of the suffering, the political support of their allies will continue; Consequently, the country is facing a conditioned and uncertain alliance, especially due to the tremendous weaknesses that the government and its party have begun to show, especially due to the internal struggles for “loot and power” that have been unleashed.
The new geopolitical map of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the triumphs of Petro in Colombia and Lula in Brazil, brings to thirteen the number of “leftist” countries, which would make up the majority in the continent’s multilateral organizations, and could create in the Venezuelan government, the hope of having a strengthened system of allies.
But it might not be. Until now, the new leftist governments in the region have shown themselves to be politically moderate and with expressions of a mutant liberalism that has no problem flirting with capitalism and especially with the United States.
The role of multinationals in Venezuela
But, beyond geopolitics, the main support of the government and one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the democratic transition in Venezuela, is the role that multinationals are playing, at least since 2016, with their large investments backed by their political partners in about forty countries that, curiously, claim to be democratic and tear their hair out for the opposition.
While “officially” they express their support for the opposition leadership and the return to democracy, behind the scenes they favor and even negotiate the participation of their large companies in important areas of the national economy.
They fuel the flow of capital and the availability of foreign currency, which the government then uses to stay on its feet and to create the illusion that the economy is improving. An emblematic case is that of the US and its relationship with Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
When the inability of the Spanish company Repsol and the Russian Rosneft to maintain their operations in the Orinoco Oil Belt became evident, the US government began to renew the operating authorization every year and reinforced the participation of the Chevrón company, which is who is producing much of the little oil that is sold.
Food, pharmaceutical, industrial machinery, mining and many other industries from the European Union, Canada and the United States of America move along the same wave.
They have taken advantage of the privileges, tax exemptions, customs payments and other financial and fiscal benefits that the Venezuelan government has established to facilitate their operation in the country, thus contributing to the fiction of a welfare bubble that only benefits a very few.
Venezuela is today a country of 3 million inhabitants who produce and pay taxes; the other 21 million survive on the remittances sent by the seven million who emigrated, from scavenging for dollars, one or another personal enterprise, or from government gifts.
Of course, and finally, the attempt to account for the difficulties for a transition process towards democracy to occur in Venezuela would be incomplete if it did not include the damage it did and continues to do, the situation of fragmentation of the opposition leadership. Its effects are there and are well visible.
The main political issue continues to be, then, the low visibility of the opposition leadership, that is, its ability to integrate those who share the same purpose, wherever they come from, to generate enough trust, build hope and motivate, to be able to guide the opposition people through a sincere speech and for the definition of viable actions that allow us to advance on the path towards democratic transition and freedom.