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Venezuela: behind humanitarian aid, fear of military intervention

INFOGRAPHY – While Trump does not exclude the military option, the opponent Guaido announces the arrival of aid, the terms of which remain to be determined.

Should we see a fake nose for military intervention? Juan Guaido , self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela , announced during the demonstrations of Saturday, February 2 against the power of Nicolas Maduro, the arrival of a humanitarian aid coming from the border Colombian, Brazilian and a Caribbean island. Venezuela’s population lacks everything: medicines, food, hygiene products. The daily life of Venezuelans comes down to the question of what they will be able to eat the next day; tens of thousands of cancer patients no longer benefit from the necessary treatments for their recovery or even their survival. The children are no longer in school because of the lack of money to pay for the bus to go to school.

Juan Guaido remained very vague about this humanitarian aid. No one knows the actors, the content or the date of arrival. “Humanitarian aid is rarely humanitarian only if it is provided by states or the UN,” notes Paula Vasquez, a Venezuelan anthropologist at the CNRS. It can turn into a military occupation, with armies the only ones to have the logistical expertise to provide that support. “Experiences like Haiti show that without a time limit, the presence of UN troops poses more problems than it does not solve it.

The Venezuelan researcher worked extensively on the Vargas tragedy in 1999, a gigantic landslide that left thousands dead and missing. This is the first crisis that Hugo Chavez had to face as president. He then refused international aid, saying that the presence of foreign military troops in Venezuela would violate the country’s sovereignty. “The planes arrived at the Maiquetia airport, and then the Venezuelan army sent the aid,” explains Paula Vasquez. Today, the question is whether the public has enough confidence in the state apparatus to channel outside help. ”

“It’s a Marshall Plan we need. People make fun of the origin of the help because they are starving “

Jurate Rosales, journalist

Political scientist Alejandro Martinez notes that Juan Guaido has also recalled that “he and his family were victims of the tragedy of Vargas” during his speech to his supporters Saturday, February 2. When he talks about the need for humanitarian aid, the opposition leader talks about his own experience of the 1999 tragedy. For journalist Jurate Rosales, it is inconceivable to imagine refusing this help: ‘a Marshall Plan we need,’ she analyzes. People make fun of the origin of the help because they are starving. Venezuelans have started to lose weight, 8 kg on average for 4 years, and now they are starving. ”

For Paula Vasquez, this help can be of several kinds. “The source of humanitarian aid is fundamental. In the case of NGOs, such as Médecins sans Frontières, the action may be limited to humanitarian aid. But when it comes to states or the UN, the international authorities consider that the country where they operate suffers from a failing state and replaces it for basic services such as health. ”

Donald Trump reiterated Sunday that he did not exclude the deployment of US forces. “It’s certainly an option,” he said on the US channel CBS, without specifying what could push to use it. An international contact group set up by the EU to help organize a presidential election is due to meet in Montevideo on 7 February, European Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said Sunday.

Reappeared publicly for the first time in six months, Nicolas Maduro gathered thousands of supporters Saturday in Caracas. Ignoring the call of the Europeans to hold a presidential election, he relaunched the idea of ​​legislative elections in the year. A solution that would allow him to replace a Parliament where the opposition is in force.

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