Letter to the Editor: In response to Jaz Brisack’s article, “Hands off Venezeula”

Re: “Hands off Venezuela” (Jan. 31)

Earlier this year, I was sitting next to a Venezuelan man on a flight. We struck up a conversation about the turmoil going on in his country. The situation he described was dire — inflation had risen so high that his family was unable to afford a single chicken and had to subsist on what he referred to as the “Maduro Diet,” consisting mainly of flour boiled in water.

In Venezuela, the everyday needs of the people are not being met.

The column published Jan. 31 by Jaz Brisack puts Maduro as the rightful president of Venezuela, but Maduro’s term as president has ushered in massive poverty and inflation in his country. In response to this social upheaval, Maduro has not acted like a democratically elected leader; instead of accepting his defeat he started an authoritarian crackdown on the people of Venezuela.

Under this pressure, Maduro has led mass arrests, attacks on protestors, police executions of individuals, and has arrested and expelled journalists. Maduro was not elected by the people and rigged his own election.

Jaz Brisack alleges that Maduro is being toppled in a coup. In actuality, Juan Guaido was elected as an interim president by the National Assembly so that he might hold elections in the process clearly outlined by the Venezuelan constitution.

Yes, the criticism the article presents that Brazil and its authoritarian president are backing Guaido are true, but this is not the whole picture. Out of the 12 South American countries, only two (Bolivia and Suriname) support Maduro’s government. The international consensus backs Guaido’s process with 49 countries backing Guaido and another seven backing the National Assembly, which recently elected Guaido Interim President.

In response to his election, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have been taking to the street in support of his interim presidency and the election he promises to bring.

Morgan Dignowity, senior philosophy major from Olive Branch

Addison Morton, senior public policy major from Clinton

Bailey Morton, senior Arabic major from Clinton