Letters to the Editor

Between a rock and a hard place

Monday, April 01, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I'm a Democrat who loves democracy, and a patriot who loves my country. Even though I didn't vote for US President Donald Trump, I do like some of his policies, such as the trade rift with China. Like him, I firmly believe in free and fair trade and not one-sided trade.

That said, the road map to peace, prosperity and stability in Venezuela shouldn't come from the United States and its allies, but from the United Nations, with input from Caricom and the Organization of American States.

The United States, it seems, is mainly interested in regime change and is very concerned about socialism in that country. How can the greatest democracy in the world support a self-acclaimed, self-appointed, unelected person to be president of any country? In this case, that should be determined at the ballot box, and not in Washington. Only the people of Venezuela should get to choose who they want to lead or represent them, and no one else. If the United States truly wants to be helpful in mediating the crisis, she should summon both parties to Washington, without taking sides, and talk about it. Urge the two leaders to agree to a fresh, free and fair election that will be held as soon as possible, monitored by international observers led by former US President Jimmy Carter. And they will be expected to abide by the results. If President Nicolas Maduro should lose and refuse to step down or give up power, then the world body, including the United States, should impose sanctions to remove him from office. Anything other than that is like putting the cart before the horse.

The region, I'm sure, would like to see both the US and Venezuela improve ties with each other, and this could be a start.

Let's face it, the suffering being endured by Venezuela is mainly caused by the crippling sanctions imposed by the United States. In all fairness, Maduro had reached out to President Trump in an effort to meet with him to defuse the situation, but the president showed no interest. The president's preoccupation with socialism in regard to Venezuela doesn't make a lot of sense. In the past, and up to the present, the United States had worked and cooperated on many issues with China and Russia, two communist giants. Not too long ago, their closest ally, England, was a socialist country and the world didn't come to an end. So the president's concerns about socialism is much ado about nothing. For him to threaten military action against a country which poses no threat to the US is simply ludicrous.

The people of the United States are war weary. They don't need another unnecessary war. And they don't need Venezuela's oil. After all, the US is a leading producer of oil and natural gas in the world.

Therefore, I'm asking the US Congress, the Senate and the Democratic contenders to weigh in on the Venezuela situation before it escalates any further. The region needs and wants a peaceful solution or resolution to this crisis. And as far as Jamaica is concerned, we are between a rock and a hard place; torn between two friends, Venezuela and the United States.

Noel Mitchell

Westchester, New York, USA


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