By Hollis Wormsby Jr.
This is an opinion column
It is almost laughable that a country whose last presidential election remains embroiled in claims of Russian interference now takes the position to assist in replacing the head of Venezuela because of suspected election fraud. To understand how crazy this is, imagine if China decided to lead an international effort to recognize Hillary Clinton as president. That is exactly what we are doing in Venezuela, I believe.
Last week, President Trump announced that he is recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela. The move came nearly two weeks after embattled President Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated for a second term that the U.S., dozens of other countries and the Venezuelan opposition have decried as illegitimate.
When looking at the way the world is responding to the latest crisis in Venezuela it is important to note that Venezuela has the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world. It is also important to note the difference between the economies of Saudi Arabia and Norway.
Saudi Arabia at some point emerged as a strong and independent country and managed to keep western interest from interfering in its development. Norway would be another example of an oil rich country that has not allowed foreign or for that matter Norwegian business entities to control its oil wealth. Norway uses its oil wealth to offer citizens one of the highest standards of living in the world.
I cannot argue whether Maduro is the best person to lead the nation of Venezuela, but it seems to me the people should determine their president, not the international community. If you don’t believe that oil availability is at the heart of the international interest in the internal affairs of the nation of Venezuela, then ask yourself, why of all the dictatorships in the world, is the whole western coalition focused on the internal affairs of Venezuela?
As a people who believe in a sense of justice, we cannot continue to support corporate policies that seek to take advantage of the people and resources of other nations. Maybe if we could convince our corporate leadership to respect the rights of other nations and not just see them as resources to take advantage of, we might improve our standing in the world and reduce the number of people who feel so helpless. Or at least that’s the way I see it.
(Hollis Wormsby has served as a featured columnist for the Birmingham Times for more than 29 years. He is the former host of Talkback on 98.7 KISS FM and of Real Talk on WAGG AM. If you would like to comment on this column you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)