Venezuela crisis begets humanitarian disaster

Andy Reiter, associate professor of politics and international relations, spoke on the Venezuelan crisis on WGBY's Connecting Point.

By Keely Savoie

In early May 2019, Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido attempted to topple Nicolas Maduro, the embattled president, from power. Guaido failed to rally the necessary military support, but the near-coup left the formerly democratic and oil-rich country further destabilized, with no easy solution in sight, said Andy Reiter, associate professor of politics and international relations, on WGBY’s Connecting Point.

The country is now facing a humanitarian catastrophe, according to the U.N.

“About 10% of the population of the country has left,” said Reiter. “You have no medicine in hospitals, food shortages everywhere. And then crime is on the rise. Last year Venezuela had the highest murder rate in the world.”

Beyond the regional problems that have been exacerbated by the crisis in Venezuela, world politics are in play, with the U.S. backing the opposition leader while President Maduro is supported by longtime U.S. political foes China and Russia.

“It’s kind of Putin poking Trump a little bit by creating disturbances in his own backyard,” said Reiter.

The whole episode is available.