Venezuela has no role in Latin America protests: expert


Venezuela is not the culprit behind Latin American protests and riots, said an expert at a time when its President Nicolas Maduro is under fire from several governments in the region.

“It is irresponsible to say that because it questions the real motivations of the protesters. It also questions that there are economic systems in crisis, as Ecuador, Chile, Colombia or Haiti. Then, pretend that Venezuela, which is at such a level of crisis, have an influence on these states, it seems absurd,” said Mauricio Jaramillo, a lecturer and researcher at Rosario University in Colombia.

Asked whether Castrochavism, a combined political view of by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, is extending the Bolivarian revolution to Latin America with those protests, the expert said it is out of question.

Jaramillo, who is also a former advisor to Union of South American Nations, said: “This is the most isolated Venezuela in recent times”.

Recalling that Venezuela got to have a lot of influence in Latin America in Chavez era, Jaramillo said today “the country is in a dramatic currency crisis”.

Jaramillo stressed the South American country has “no capacity and power, especially in countries like Chile and Ecuador, to make such interference.”

Andres Agudelo, a political analyst, said that although there are detainees of Venezuelan nationality for their alleged participation in demonstrations in several countries, “all protests have different causes” and he ruled out “a conspiracy phenomenon” or “infiltration theories” in other countries.

Jaramillo and Agudelo fully agreed that the causes of the popular uprisings in Latin America respond to a “generalized nonconformity, which in most countries has to do with economic conditions and inequalities”.

Talking on the Organization of American States (OAS), both experts criticized the North American body for issuing political opinions.

“The OAS has an electoral mission that generally fulfills well, but beyond that, I find it irresponsible to issue such political opinions,” Agudelo said, referring to the alleged Venezuelan interference in other countries.

Jaramillo went further and said that the OAS since Luis Almagro as General Secretary “has blurred and blurred his role” and “it is difficult to think or legitimize” the position of the OAS when “it has an ideological agenda led by Almagro”.

The OAS published a statement last Wednesday saying that “the current destabilization tendency of the political system in Latin America has its origin in the strategy of the Bolivarian and Cuban dictatorships, which seek to reposition as an international actor”.

Last week, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blamed the Sao Paulo Forum held in Caracas at the end of July, for seeking “to take power in all the countries of the region”.

  • Protests in Latin America

Last week, protesters jumped over turnstiles without paying for tickets at metro stations in the capital Santiago, Chile, in protest against a 4% hike in metro fares. At least 19 people died and the government declared a 15-day state of emergency on Saturday.

Bolivia is in crisis after alleged irregularities in Sunday’s presidential election, while in Ecuador, the indigenous unions and trade groups paralyzed the country for eleven days due to economic measures announced by the government.

In Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Honduras, various demonstrations and riots have also erupted for different reasons.

Last weekend, Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, said that “what’s happening in Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, and Honduras is just the first breeze and that it will become a hurricane”.

Denying that the Maduro government is financing violent acts in the region, Cabello said that “these countries are going to burst because they have an overdose of neoliberalism and nobody can stand that”.

*Juan Felipe Velez Rojas in Colombia and Beyza Binnur Donmez in Ankara contributed to the story.
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