Europe tries saving Venezuela, gives ‘Dictator’ Maduro $47 million
BRUSSELS – The European Commission will give the government of sanctioned Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro around $47 million.
The EU called Venezuela’s elections unacceptable, exclusive, and undemocratic.
The funds are designed to go to Venezuelans and countries receiving Venezuelan migrants, the European Commission said in a note on Thursday. Neven Mimica, Europe’s commissioner for international cooperation and development, said: “We are very concerned about the critical situation in Venezuela and its impact in neighboring countries such as Colombia. This package will improve the Venezuelan people’s access to food and nutrition, as well as basic services like water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Last year, Maduro rejected calling the crisis a humanitarian crisis, saying he would not apply for aid from the international humanitarian aid organizations. (He undoubtedly thinks non-profits like Oxfam International are crawling with Yankee spies.)
Out of the funding announced today, $5.9 million will go to healthcare, food and water. Another $5.9 million will support conflict-prevention measures to reduce social tensions and violence and protect people displaced by the crisis, a crisis Maduro largely blames on Washington.
Some $22 million is going towards development assistance in Venezuela and to neighboring nations housing migrants. Another $8.3 million is supposedly going solely to meet the needs of migrants. The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department has been providing emergency support to Venezuela since 2016. They did not say who specifically was getting the money. If it is going to the Venezuelan government, then one can safely assume that it is money gone to waste. The EC has been throwing money at Maduro and the ruling Socialists United of Venezuela (PSUV) for two years now and the situation on food and medical supplies has only deteriorated.
On May 23, the European Union joined the United States in rejecting the re-election of Maduro just three days prior. The EU called Venezuela’s elections unacceptable, exclusive, and undemocratic. “This election and its outcome lack legitimacy and credibility,” they wrote from Brussels. Where do they think their $47 million is going? Who do they think is going to cash the check?
Last October, Maduro said he was ready to be a dictator. He said if that is what it took to turn the country around, he will do it.
On the political ideology spectrum, Maduro and PSUV are anti-imperial, Latin American-style revolutionary Marxists. The kind that formed from brutal colonial history and Cold War propaganda. Politics aside, many describe PSUV as simply corrupt to high heaven and not interested in politics, really. Its leaders are wanted narcotraffickers no different than the old FARC of Colombia, of which PSUV remains a vocal supporter.
The direction Maduro wants to take the country in is not the country of 2004 when oil was $180 a barrel. It’s pre-Colombian times, with a dash of Castro Cubanismo.
Inflation is quadruple digits. The economy is in a Great Depression. There is a brain drain and an exodus of people so massive that it will take at least a generation to recover from this mess. And now Maduro is in power for at least four more years, unless the country goes bankrupt and the rank and file military remove him from office. Even if they did, PSUV would still govern.
Nearly a year ago, the editorial board of The New York Times did something they rarely do: come out against a sovereign government in Latin America. Too them, if Maduro was not a dictator when they started typing out their point of view back in August 2017, he was on his way there.
“Personal sanctions on President Nicolás Maduro (puts) him in the rarefied company of sitting leaders like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, whose rapacious greed for power has brought their countries to ruin. There is no longer any question that this is where Mr. Maduro belongs. No nation should have to suffer such a leader.”
But suffer they are. The European Commission may think they are helping the Venezuelans. They’d be better off giving all the aid to the countries taking the Venezuelans in, rather than let it circulate in what has become the biggest failed state in the Americas.