Norway is mediating a talk between Venezuela government and opposition to find a way to solve the ongoing Venezuela crisis.

What is Venezuela crisis

  • The crisis in Venezuela is a political crisis, an economic crisis, and a humanitarian crisis. It is marked by hyperinflation, climbing hunger, disease, crime and death rates, and massive emigration from the country
    • More than three million people have left Venezuela for food, work, and a better life since 2014, according to the United Nations migration agency, setting off a regional crisis
    • An uprising of political opposition to President Nicolas Maduro has put the country’s leadership in question.
  • The Venezuelan crisis happens because of the failure of erstwhile president Chavez to address several structural problems.
  • Oil revenues constituted more than 90% of Venezuela’s exports, and the country remained dependent on imports for essential commodities, including food. Also, the government failed to cut spending in the face of falling oil revenues

Timeline of events

  • The 1920s to 1970s: Oil is discovered in Venezuela, which is found to have the world’s largest reserves. The nation’s economic development is based on rising prices and profits in oil exports.
  • The 1980s to 1990s: Global oil prices fall; Venezuela’s economy contracts. The country faces massive debt.
  • 1998: Hugo Chavez is elected president. He promises to use the country’s oil wealth to improve the lives of the poor.
  • The 2000s: Chavez expands social services, but corruption is rampant, and a steady decline in oil production reduces oil reserves and increases government debt.
  • 2010 to 2012: Chavez’ attempts at economic reform, currency devaluation and price controls, are ineffective.
  • 2013: Hugo Chávez, the country’s long-time president, died of cancer at 58. Maduro came in the office
  • 2014: Venezuela started to face economic crisis due to a decline in oil prices. There are high levels of violence due to shortages of foods and a scarcity of basic goods
  • 2015: In the legislative elections, the opposition party gained a two-thirds supermajority in the National Assembly. Maduro, fearing for the security of his position. Supreme Court blocked newly elected lawmakers from joining the assembly
  • 2017: Venezuela calls a referendum, boycotted by the opposition, to approve the creation of an all-powerful legislative body called the Constituent Assembly.
  • 2018: Mediation talks between the government and the opposition collapse amid disagreement over the timing of the next presidential election.
  • 2019: Mudro re-elected as president over a lesser-known opposition candidate amid low turnout and allegations of vote-buying by the government. The US imposed several financial sanctions on Venezuela
  • 2019: Opposition leader Guaido swears himself as interim president. He is recognized as the country's legitimate president by the United States and many of Venezuela's neighbours.

A global view on Venezuela

  • The recent crisis in Venezuela has witnessed the world heavyweights taking sides for either Maduro or Guard. Maduro is supported by Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Turkey. While Guaidó is supported by the US and its allies.
  • However, UNSC has taken several attempts to resolve the crisis but failed to take action on the two competing drafts.
  • The US called for new presidential elections in Venezuela and unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid. This resolution was blocked by Russia and China
  • Russia's draft resolution urged a settlement "through peaceful means" and insisted that all humanitarian aid be agreed by President Nicolas Maduro's government. This resolution won only four votes in UNSC (Russia, China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea)
  • Although the United Nations expanded its humanitarian operations in Venezuela. It releases US$9 million from its emergency response fund, the CERF, and increasing the number of staffs in the country from 210 to 400.
  • Recently, Norway offers to mediate between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties to resolve the ongoing crisis.

Venezuela crisis and India

  • Venezuela is the fourth largest supplier of oil to India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Iran. Venezuela joined the International Solar Alliance. India has invested in oil assets of Venezuela.
  • Initially, despite the US sanctions India has been purchasing oil from Venezuela. This gives an advantage to India of getting cheaper oil to satisfy its huge domestic demand and also without using its foreign exchange reserve. On the other hand, it allows Venezuela to purchase medicine, food supplies and other necessary goods from India at the time of its crisis.
  • However, recently India has cut its oil import from Venezuela

India’s view on resolving the crisis

  • India has maintained neutrality over choosing between either Maduro or Guaido. India has also not officiality recognised Guaidó.
  • India appeals to people of Venezuela to find a political solution to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and discussion without resorting to violence

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