3 March 2024, Sunday, 3:08
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Will ‘Venezuelan Putin’ Start New War?

Will ‘Venezuelan Putin’ Start New War?

The political scientist believes that Maduro is completely copying his colleague from the Kremlin.

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has declared the western part of neighbouring Guyana - Essequibo as the country's 24th state after holding a “referendum”.

– This is a direct threat to Guyana’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence and a violation of the fundamental principles of international law under the UN Charter,” President of Guyana Irfaan Ali reacted.

Will they start hostilities? Journalists of Charter97.org spoke about this with the famous Ukrainian political scientist Volodymyr Fesenko, the head of the Penta Center for Applied Political Studies:

– A certain “casus belli”, a reason for war, has been created from political and partly legal points of view. Therefore, of course, there is a risk of some kind of military adventure on the part of Venezuela. Most experts are skeptical about this scenario, as they do not yet see the prerequisites for military action, rather, we are talking about such a political technology combination.

Maduro’s actions are designed to strengthen, let’s say, his authority, increase his popularity and show himself as a defender of national interests. Outwardly, this is very reminiscent of what Putin did. This is what happened with Crimea, what happened with the change in the status of the occupied territories. Maduro is trying to do something similar, he is copying Putin.

The very fact of war, sacrifice, suffering, destruction in Ukraine is the most important negative. But Putin also created an extremely negative precedent in international relations. He made it possible to use war to solve political problems (both domestic and foreign). Not through international law or negotiations, but through war and claims to the territory of neighboring countries.

He is copying Putin's actions. The world will simply continue to face a chain reaction if the unsavory and criminal practice of using war as a tool to promote political interests is not stopped.

Russia's military efforts against Ukraine clearly show this. Hamas partially copied it with some changes in the attack on Israel. Now Venezuela is making its political claims. Who’ll be the next? There is a problem that has existed for a long time between China and Taiwan. Therefore this is a highly dangerous practice.

– Will the US intervene?

– Many people are talking about common features with Saddam Hussein when he seized the territory of Kuwait in the early 90s. After this, let me remind you, the international community, at the initiative of the United States, took very serious actions. Then there was the first international special military operation (it can be called like that) against Iraq. Then Saddam Hussein was defeated and forced to retreat.

I think that now at different levels and in different forms, both the Americans and the neighbouring states of Latin America, in particular Brazil, and many other countries are making it clear to the dictator Maduro that it’s better not to escalate. Let's see if China has interests in this region. They have so far shown less of themselves in Latin America. But destabilization and a chain reaction could create problems for the Chinese in the future.

Americans, Europeans, Brazil and many other nations and international organizations, I think, are now putting informal, unofficial, but quite tough pressure on Maduro so that he does not make any aggressive adventures that could end badly for him.

— Indeed, in this conflict (and a series of others in the world) one can notice a Russian trace, as you said. What other hot spots could appear in the world at the instigation of the Russian Federation?

— You see, everyone discussed this topic after the Hamas attack on Israel. This trend of destabilization, where a fire breaks out in one place or another, of course, suggests that these fires are beneficial to Russia because they distract attention from the Russian war against Ukraine, they disperse the attention of the United States and the European Union.

Current situation of potential conflict between Venezuela and Guyana. No one expected that such a problem could arise there. There were more discussions, for example, about the Balkans, which has been Europe's powder keg for a long time. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were two Balkan wars, the First World War began in the Balkans, and the region has constantly been in fever. Let me remind you of more recent events: in the 90s there was a bloody multi-year war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The consequences of that war, unresolved conflicts, remain actual. I am talking about the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, there were outbreaks at the end of last year and at the beginning of this. There are problems, they have been smoothed out a little, and neutralized, but it’s still risky. If you bring matches to this powder-keg or light a fire there, then there may be an explosion.

There are risks associated with Bosnia. The bloodiest war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia was in Bosnia, major civilian casualties were recorded there. The peace agreement formed a kind of federation of three entities, one of which, the Serbian community, or rather the leadership of this community. Publicly declared that they wanted to leave the federation and either become independent or join Serbia. And this is fraught with a new conflict. In the 90s, they barely settled the war and found a complex formula for peace, but now the conflict may resume again. Therefore, the Balkans come first.

Naturally, the problem of Taiwan remains relevant. There is not such a strong tension there, the situation has calmed down somewhat compared to what it was a year ago. At that time there were a lot of conflicts, very sharp actions and statements, and the military also became more active. There is less risk now, but there’ll be presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan in January next year. Some experts believe that the election will be won by one of the local parties that is currently in power and adheres to the idea of declaring Taiwan's independence.

In fact, it has already been independent for a long time. In the late 40s, Chiang Kai-shek was defeated in the war with the communists, fled to Taiwan and created his own Chinese Republic there. As a result, his Kuomintang party ruled Taiwan and was considered to be China for a very long time. But the new political forces that have ruled Taiwan in recent years are more and more inclined towards the idea of proclaiming the independence of Taiwan so that it would be an independent state, separate from China. This causes a very sharp negative reaction in Beijing. The reaction of the People's Republic of China and its leader Xi Jinping to the election results in Taiwan is also a potential risk.

The Balkans and Taiwan are two places where potential risks may be greatest. I think that the international community is closely monitoring these situations and will even act preventively. That is, they will work proactively to prevent conflict situations from arising there.

There are also positive trends. In particular, the leaders of the United States and China met in San Francisco in mid-November. There is a certain improvement in relations between the two most influential countries in the world. If this trend continues, it will reduce international tension. But, of course, there are risks, including those associated with such, I would say, not very civilized actions of the current Venezuelan leadership.

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