From Humpty Dumpty to the wall
Beatrice E. Rangel
Mr Maduro of Venezuela decided to emulate a character of 17th century English nursery rhymes and placed himself on a wall high above the rest of his people and the world. Indeed, Humpty Dumpty sat on wall to place himself above others. He clearly believed no rule applied to him including that of gravity. He then had a great fall finding the hard way how futile were his attempts to position himself above the people. And Mr Maduro most probably will face the same fate.
Listing Mr Maduro’s political faux pas is very difficult given its profligacy. But one can try to record the political mistakes that will bring him down. First of course, is to rig elections in a very conspicuous fashion. Probably under the influence of ill-fated Cuban advice, Mr Maduro tried to sell the people of Venezuela -who know something about elections in spite of the Bolivarian efforts to erase this memory- a scandalously fraudulent election. Certainly, not only were the results visibly rigged but the proportion of voters participating was so paltry that the government had to encircle voting polls with security goons to keep the press away. The outcome could not have been more negative for him and his government as he visible relinquished legitimacy that day.
Mr Maduro then persisted in taking the road to self-destruction by giving up in the same act that he was fraudulently elected for a second term all international protections to a legitimately elected leader. By the 1970s the US understood that the best foreign policy to Latin America was to uphold Human Rights and democracy. Laws were thus enacted to protect democratic leaders from conspiracies that would bring their governments to an end. Since the US had recognized as fair the elections of 2013 when Mr. Maduro was elected, he had the protection of these US laws. But once he becomes an illegitimate power grabber these laws do not apply.
Finally, Mr Maduro clearly thinks that Venezuela can survive in autarky, as he seems not to care about increasing US sanctions against him and top government officials as well as against the source of illicit activities that has been PDVSA, the oil mammoth than once upon a time was a Fortune 500. Soon, he will fail to access any source of cash at all. And he would probably then realize that he is falling from the wall to never recover again.
In the US, President Trump stands ready to fight for the controversial wall he wants to build in the southern border. So far, he seems to be alone in his quest with number of fierce followers that stand ready to go through all trouble to get Congress to appropriate the funds for the wall. Curiously enough up and until January 2019 both the Senate and the House were controlled by the Republican party. One then wonders why the funds were not appropriated then. But that is a rhetorical question as what is now relevant is how this chicken game between the president of the United States and the legislative branch of power will play out. So far, the president seems to be making great inroads in terms of rallying the support of his base. It however remains to be seen whether that support will be enough to mobilize congressional approval of the wall. Should this not be case President Trump could face the same fate of Humpty Dumpty only that in his case it will come as an electoral defeat.
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America.
Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.