By Eddy Montilla.
If a president’s efficiency during his or her administration could be judged by his or her practical results, President Nicolás Maduro’s four years in Venezuela might be labeled with just one word as unfeasible.
According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in this South American country is running at 720.5% this year and if it continues at the present dizzy rate, by next year Venezuela’s consumer-price inflation will be hovering 2000%. To calculate how much money a Venezuelan will have to pay for the same product next year is enough to have a splitting headache. Besides, the country is dealing with a massive shortage of basic goods and money.
As the economic crisis deepens, the real monster emerges from darkness in that country: The internal division of its citizens. Venezuela has split into those who defend the dead Hugo Chávez’s memories and his Bolivarian socialism rather than a living Nicolás Maduro and those (like the opposition leader Henrique Capriles) who see president Maduro as dictatorial as his predecessor. Since last March, continuing protests against the Government and demonstrations of force from both groups with irreconcilable differences have created a chaos that has left 41 people dead until now. If Venezuela does not see positive and radical changes in the coming months, for the benefit of the country and citizens, President Nicolás Maduro should cede democratically his position to another person.
The world is free and that gives us the right and freedom to think and act freely. If President Maduro and supporters want to keep their revolutionary ideas and other things, nobody should object to them. But, for their part, they should not close their eyes to reality, and Venezuela’s reality says that this Latin American country has not improved during his four years as president, perhaps because of the chasm between his predecessor and him: In Venezuela, people loved or feared Hugo Chávez; they threw object to Maduro. Chávez always found a way to solve or hide problems; Maduro cannot cope with all problems he already has (excluding those that are looming) and try to solve them mystically: Chávez’s apparition as a little bird, a butterfly or talking to cows.
In Venezuela, without present nor future for its people this moment, a change seems to be the best option, an option that could reconcile all groups in this polarized nation. Unfortunately, it is as difficult for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle as for a president to concede power to others once he or she is drunk with power. Latin American’s history is full of presidents who acted in that way and it has few examples of wise politicians who did the opposite. Future will tell us what group President Nicolás Maduro belongs to.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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