National Security

Lunacy and a Light at the End of the Tunnel in Venezuela

Things have gone so crazy in Venezuela that the most recent news reported is that the army, loyal to dictator Nicolás Maduro, has fired on aid workers and volunteers from his own country trying to gather humanitarian-need supplies.

The volunteers are working for Juan Guaidó, the self-declared interim president, and the aid is from Western countries that are backing Guaidó instead of Maduro. That is as far as the logic of this action extends. Maduro and the situation in Venezuela moved so far down the rabbit hole that the Venezuelan military is firing at Venezuelan people who are simply trying to transport food and medical supplies. Reports are still sketchy (at least in part because Maduro is trying to mask his atrocities,) but at least two are dead and hundreds wounded. Somebody who cared at least a little bit about his people more than his cushy position as dictator would provide aid instead of shooting at it. A smart ruthless dictator would at least find a way to seize the goods and claim credit for them.

This lunacy shows at least two key factors. First, dictators are often hard to remove from power even when they’ve lost the support of the people. In fact, they often use the apparatus of the state such as the police and the military to consolidate their control as things worsen in their country.

Second, a dictator ruining his country, alienating and even starving his own people, and shooting at those simply trying to supply food and medicine, strongly suggests that the next rational and justified step is armed revolution for the people of Venezuela. After all, it was the Boston Massacre that galvanized the original 13 colonies to fight for their rights. As we’ve seen from Syria to Bosnia, civil war can be messy, but arming the widely recognized opposition is the light at the end of the tunnel for Venezuela and will start to dismantle the apparatus that shoots at humanitarian workers and its own people.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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