Venezuela: A new cold war!


The successive events in Venezuela are actually related to the Western conflict with China. The US imports a significant amount of Venezuela’s oil production and America will not allow China to exercise control over an important oil supplier.

Venezuela, which is currently suffering from record rates of inflation, has turned to China as a source of loans. China has responded by providing loan after loan many of which are now coming due and must be repaid. Concerns are growing in Washington about the increasing Chinese influence in Venezuela and in Latin America in general.

One of the reasons for the US demand to rewrite the NAFTA agreement with Mexico was that the Chinese currency had become second in circulation after the Mexican peso, which posed a threat to US economic security in a neighboring country. America is dealing with this threat in a unified fashion as President Trump has stepped up pressure by applying sanctions and recognizing Venezuela’s opposition leader. It is clear that the threat of China must be taken seriously and an end must be put to its ambitions in a region that has always been considered to traditionally be in the Western camp.

It is surprising that Venezuela, a founding state of OPEC and an important oil producing country, has experienced severe political turmoil and threats of sanctions without this affecting world oil prices. We are living in a new world governed by different factors not merely by the laws of supply and demand. It is also very clear that Venezuela is not Syria and that it is a real red line and not a virtual red line. Venezuela is now a pivotal point in the determination of US national security.

The step of the US recognizing the “other” president and of not recognizing Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate president is unprecedented and an escalation of the situation. Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, which are all pivotal and very influential countries in Latin America, have supported the US decision. It is clear that Latin America is an important battleground in the new cold war between China and the West. This is a war with new weapons and different battle sites.

These new cold war battles will test the political and economic capabilities of all of the parties involved.