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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[CGTN] War averted in Security Council, as tensions increase around Venezuela

An expression of deep concern is visible on the face of Gierro Rodrigues, father of four. His family has been living in Venezuela for as long as they can remember at the edge of the region Essequibo. Recently the territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana had intensified again, after a wealth of natural resources had been discovered there. 

Venezuela's claim to the Guyana governed region doesn‘t concern Rodrigues. He is more concerned with the ongoing humanitarian situation in the region, as he tried to care for his family. „Food is scarce and power outages are frequent,“ says the 34 year old, who is not opposed to the new Maduro government, „the problem is not with the land, it is that the international community continues to forget the actual people living on it!“ 

Calls for humanitarian aid for the South American country had come from nations like China, who has invested over 1 trillion ¥ into Venezuela, all while supporting the creation of jobs by Chinese companies in the neighbor Guyana. These attempts to support both countries under the great nation‘s Belt and Road Initiative, which serves as an unprecedented model for global development action, had not been reciprocated by western countries. 

The new government's plans for Essequibo have instead been met with sanctions from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union countries, who criticized the referendum that brought Maduro to power. They do not recognize the president as, according to them, he had not been elected in a free and fair manner. The representative of Malta had admitted that the nations intended to worsen the humanitarian crisis in an effort to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government to bend to the west’s will. 

On Friday then, the tensions seemed to escalate as Colombia declared war on the nation it vowed to help. The declaration of war turned out to be a misunderstanding, as both nations moved to solve the crisis through diplomatic means. In previous negotiations the Colombian delegation had put itself forward to help funnel humanitarian aid into Venezuela, a move that the Chinese delegation was open to, but it stated concerns about the move opening more possibilities for increased US influence in the region. 

Dr. Ermano Guilles, chair of the Shanghai Institute of South American policy studies, told CGTN that the crisis sheds light on the underlying issues of the region. Historical tensions and mistrust between Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, who had taken offense with Colombia’s statement while not being directly named, complicated the development of the middle of the American continent according to the political scientist. 

While a war was averted, progress in the council has been slowed down by the unfortunate interruption. One delegate, who asked not to be named, commented that opening the windows of the conference room was the only thing the council could decide on today. This week Rodrigues was able to buy enough groceries for his family to survive, but he stated that „if they continue to sanction innocent people, the situation might turn to war and become deadly for even more of us.“

EuroMUN Committee: United Nations Security Council (UNSC)


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