Nicolás Maduro clings to power in Venezuela despite many nations no longer recognizing him as president. If his regime ends, it could result in the end of so-called migrant caravans flooding America. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. should actively work to remove him. Yet it also doesn’t mean the U.S. should wish for him to remain in power. Here’s a quick reminder of Venezuelan involvement in the migrant caravans, and equally quick reasons for why the U.S. should not use force to remove him, even as it should want his regime to end.
On Oct. 23, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence gave an on-the-record interview. He stated that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández told him that Venezuela was helping to fund one of the migrant caravans trying to enter the U.S. at that time. Put another way, the second highest official in America explicitly said that Venezuela was supporting an invasion of the U.S.
So there is that justification for ending the Maduro regime. There is another reason too: Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, supported the subversive Occupy Wall Street movement that raged throughout America in the early part of this decade.
Indeed, during earlier times in American history, these reasons would be sufficient for the U.S. to declare war on Venezuela and swiftly defeat it. But that would be a bad idea to do now.
America is a divided nation, and as the wars that it has engaged in since Sep. 11, 2001 have taught us, at least half the country will actively work to defeat it; will work with the enemy to undermine it. And the U.S. has proven that it doesn’t have the willpower to stop its domestic adversaries, nor the willpower to win said wars. Frankly, it has proven that it no longer even has the moral clarity that is necessary to wage a war for the right reasons and goals.
So it would be a terrible decision to go to war with Venezuela, even as it would’ve been an easy decision to make in more civilized and moral times.
But that doesn’t mean that anyone has to cheer for Maduro to retain power. It doesn’t mean that anyone needs to demand that the U.S. do nothing against him.
The American populist movement has grown in size since 2016. Some of its members apparently think President Trump is wrong for recognizing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s president instead of Maduro. At the very least, this is an odd position. If the populists are so concerned with protecting American borders, then it would stand to reason that they would want to stop those who are actively assaulting them.
Maduro backed at least one assault on American sovereignty. He’s probably done more. Guaidó likely won’t be an ally of the United States (he’s a socialist). America forcefully removing Maduro would be disastrous since it no longer can win wars in the service of good. But the end of his regime might mean the end of the migrant caravans constantly attacking the southern border.
And why wouldn’t American populists want that?
Top video from Fox News, Jan. 30, 2019. Used for illustration purposes only.