In an unprecedented turn of events and an unintended consequence of México’s engagement in world affairs it has been accused of an attempted regime change and the attempted assassination of a foreign leader. As if that wasn’t enough, the Mexican government has been accused of being “right-wing” by Venezuela’s Maduro.
Venezuela is facing a serious economic crisis because of its socialist government policies. The underlining problem for the Venezuelan government is its oil export dependency to fund socialist programs since Hugo Chávez launched a socialist regime in 1999.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. However, the Venezuelan economy is 95% dependent on its oil exports. But oil prices crashed in 2014 and continue to remain low. Thus, Venezuela is unable to sell enough oil on the world market to continue to fund government largess.
Its economy is in shambles with hyper inflation reaching over 1 million percent. (IMF data) The government has responded by printing more money, making the Bolivar worthless. Last month, the Maduro government introduced a new currency, relabeling the “strong Bolivar” as the “sovereign Bolivar” and chopping off five zeros from the previous currency.
This has caused an emigration crisis as more than 2.5 million Venezuelan’s have moved to the United States, Colombia, Spain, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. It is the largest forced displacement in the western hemisphere.
Because of the crisis, México took on a world leadership role through the Lima Group and the Organization of American States (OAS) to pressure Nicolás Maduro to restore Democracy in Venezuela.
In 2017, Donald Trump suggested that a “military option” was on the table. México and other countries condemned the insinuation of military use for regime change in Venezuela. However, México continued its diplomatic pressure on the Nicolás Maduro government.
On August 4, 2018, while Maduro was delivering a speech during a military parade in Venezuela, when an explosion shook the event. At 5:41 in the afternoon, local time, a commercial drone exploded above Maduro’s head. The drone appears to have been carrying explosives. A second drone exploded about a block away.
The Maduro government has blamed Colombia for the attack. Two individuals were arrested shortly after the bombing and several more have been arrested as the investigation has progressed.
On September 24, 2018, the Maduro government accused México and Chile of complicity in the attack. According to Maduro, Chilean and Mexican diplomats conspired to provide refuge to the attackers in their embassies until they could be smuggled out of Venezuela into Colombia. It is important to point out that it is against international law for diplomatic posts to participate directly or indirectly in any attack against their host country.
But most important is that México has maintained a long history of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. The official policy of México is governed by the Estrada Doctrine that maintains that each country has the right to determine their one future.
The Chilean, Colombian and Mexican government have denied the accusations by Venezuela.
Clearly México’s leadership in trying to resolve the human crisis in Venezuela has put it in the cross-hairs of the Maduro government.