By: Brian Hioe
A PLEDGE LAST month by Taiwan to donate 500,000 USD to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January with American backing, is quite telling about Taiwan’s priorities in diplomatic affairs. The pledge is claimed to be “humanitarian assistance,” but many questions exist about what it exactly will be used for.
By acknowledging Guaido as president, this invalidates an election result which would have seen Nicolas Maduro continue to serve as president. As such, the ouster of Maduro has been seen as nothing less than an American-backed coup, something that would hardly be new for America in Latin American and South American countries.
The Trump administration would prefer a regime change in Venezuela, likely taking the view that the self-proclaimed leftist rhetoric of the Maduro government would threaten American interests in the region. As such, American has also frozen the assets of the Maduro government in America. Most EU countries have complied with acknowledging Guaido as president of Venezuela, as have some Latin American countries. Guaido is also supported by elements of civil society and a number of conservative business interests in Venezuela.
It is very probable that Taiwan felt compelled to back Guaido in order to echo the Trump administration and other members of the international community. Frankly speaking, neither is Maduro the saint that some elements of the left make him out to be, and Venezuela is far from some socialist utopia. Millions were already fleeing Venezuela under Maduro because of food and medicine shortages, for one. But, either way, the situation in Venezuela is likely to deteriorate further with split recognition of different political leaders by foreign powers. [FULL STORY]