What Just Happened in Venezuela?

by Oriana Acosta

Oil, diamonds, and mercury. Venezuela is the country sitting on one of the worlds’ biggest oil supplies–so much wealth–that every single house would come with a room and bathroom made especially for the housekeeper. The average citizen would spend the summer in their beach house, and then go back to their regular apartments. This is what a country full of hardworking, united citizens could accomplish, that was, until Chavez came.

A lot of people at our school have raised the question, “What is happening in Venezuela?” due to the large quantities of Venezuelan teenagers coming into our school. There has been a lot of misinformation regarding this topic, so hopefully this will provide a clear understanding of the events currently taking place in the country.

Venezuela is not a U.S. backed coup–you cannot have a coup when there is no functioning government in the first place. Secondly, what is happening in Venezuela is not a fight about political ideologies, it’s not between the Venezuelan right wing and the Venezuelan left wing either. It is a fight between the people of Venezuela and a tyrannical dictatorship–a joke of a government–that won’t provide food for their kids, medicine for their hospitals, electricity for their homes, or gas for their cars, because they are too busy taking the money for themselves.

You may have heard of the name “Guaido.” This is the current interim president of Venezuela. The speculation comes because some people believe that he just “declared himself president” out of nowhere. This is not the case. Juan Guaido is the son of a taxi driver, and he is a liberal representative in Congress. He was elected by the Venezuelan people to be a representative in Venezuela’s national assembly. He is acting as a temporary president until democratic elections can be ensured. It is dictated by law, in the Venezuelan constitution, when a president is deemed illegitimate. Former president Nicolas Maduro was deemed illegitimate because the Supreme Court, which was hand picked by Maduro, stripped the National Congress of all of their power. The National Congress was the only governmental institution that was actually elected by the Venezuelan people. Basically, it’s as if the Democrats took the house and Trump told them to get lost because he has another house made up of everyone that agrees with him. That is what’s happening in Venezuela right now.

So, next time you talk to one of your Venezuelan friends at school, show your support, but more importantly, your understanding.