Venezuela risks a descent into chaos
. . . and Maduro is the goat.
"At the main morgue of central Caracas, the stench forces everyone to cover their nostrils. “Now things are worse than ever,” says Yuli Sánchez. “They kill people and no one is punished while families have to keep their pain to themselves.”
Ms Sánchez’s 14-year-old nephew, Oliver, was shot five times by malandros, or thugs, while riding on the back of a friend’s motorcycle. His uncle, Luis Mejía, remarked that in a fortnight three members of their family had been shot, including two youths who were shot by police.
An economic, social and political crisis facing Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s unpopular president, is being aggravated by a rise in violence which is prompting fears that this oil-rich country risks becoming a failed state.
“What can we do?” Mr Mejía asks. “Give up.” The morgue employee in charge of handling the corpses notes that a decade ago he received seven or eight bodies every weekend. These days, he says, that number has risen to between 40 and 50: “This is now wilder than the wild west.”
Critics say that the Venezuelan government is increasingly unable to provide citizens with water, electricity, health or a functioning economy which can supply basic food staples or indispensable medicines, let alone personal safety.
Last month alone, Venezuelans learned of the summary execution of at least 17 gold miners supposedly by a mining Mafia, the killing of two police officers allegedly by a group of students who drove a bus into a barricade, and a hostage drama inside a prison at the hands of a grenade-wielding criminal gang. On Wednesday, three policemen were killed when an armed gang busted a member out of a lock-up in the capital."
This is now past simple failures like lack of toilet paper, cooking oil, and flour, it has move on to the next stage, murder, rape, and lawlessness. I would hope President Obama is watching this. But with our feckless President one can only hope. Once Venezuela collapses, the civilized world, will have only a short time to move to help whatever government is left to regain order. If we wait too long, the outcome will look more like Libya. We really do not need a metastasizing morass in South America.
Socialism is a many splendored thing . . .
Now is the time for serious US diplomatic action, mostly behind the scenes. I rue the day Americans reelected President Obama.