In Venezuela, particularly among opponents, the US elections have been lived as if they were a local election. It seemed that Trump was the candidate of the Venezuelan opposition and Biden embodied Chávez or Maduro. The reality is that the election of the new President of the United States is a matter exclusively for Americans. The capacity for participation of Venezuelans in this regard is present through compatriots who have become US citizens. That’s a small number, but it undoubtedly influenced the results in the important state of Florida. The level of emotions to which this Chavista era has dragged Venezuela is impressive. Meanwhile, life (and death) continues in Venezuela: fuel shortages, food out of reach for most of the country, gangs running the country, and electoral propaganda in the media. Curiously, the main part of this propaganda on the radio is done by “opponents.”
Elections in the USA – international impact
All the signs point to a Biden victory, so it seems important to analyze the potential direction of a Biden presidency. Even the majority of pro-Trump American media admit his defeat, despite efforts to prove fraud. Trump has been known to go against traditions, good or bad, and will try to keep the spotlight for as long as possible. The most striking fact from the elections is that the United States is a deeply divided country, as much or more than four years ago. This is concerning, as it is the most powerful country in a troubled world. Interestingly, foreign policy was not a determining factor in the US elections, however interest and concern abroad has been the greatest in modern history.
Trump raises many passions and his way of acting can cause enormous displeasure and rejection, but it is necessary to identify and recognize positive changes caused at the international level. The disruptive spirit of the Trump Administration led to question with greater force many unfair situations with which the world has been living and just to mention a few: the abuse of China in its trade relations with other countries and the use of facilities as a supposed country underdeveloped, the small contribution of European countries to the military effort, the non-revision of important international treaties in many years, the countries selected for the handling of human rights in the UN, an agreement with Iran that does not include a brake on Iranian terrorist expansion in the Middle East and the rest of the world.
There are new realities and perceptions in the international arena. Trump has been instrumental in this in an individual and isolated effort by the United States and has frequently done so by disparaging and even humiliating America’s natural allies. This presents a great opportunity for Biden, in that it will be easier to align the allies in joint efforts to face the new realities and after their “Trump experience” they will be more prepared to collaborate. It is difficult, if not impossible, to return to the positions of the Obama era.
In the beginning, the main focus of the Biden Administration will be on the Pandemic, the Economy and Climate Change. Biden’s known international positions include:
- He recently named Russia the greatest threat to America’s security and allies.
- He has no illusions about the nature of the Chinese regime or its leader, President Xi Jinping, whom he met on numerous occasions as Vice-President and whom he called a “ruffian” in the primary debates.
- He will urge European allies to share a greater burden corresponding to their defense, without the “bully” style of Trump. It could exploit the shock of the past four years to encourage Europeans to redouble their efforts, in ways that were unthinkable in the past.
Elections in the USA – impact for Venezuela
The Trump Administration has exerted enormous pressure to achieve regime change in Venezuela, it has weakened it but there has been no success to date. For the United States, the presence of a country in America associated with narco-terrorism and the imbalance of other nations in the region is a problem for the state. That does not change with a new administration, but it is also a fact that the transition process and the beginning of the execution of the new administration will take several months. During this period, Venezuela will not be the main priority and the existing situation and conditions will surely continue. For the Venezuelan regime, what is relevant is the lifting of sanctions and that will hardly happen without a counterpart that means important concessions on the part of the regime, for which it has not even been willing to please its European allies.
Survival of international support for Guaidó is a complicated issue. When the democratic countries of the world adopted this strategy, they counted on a regime change in the short term. At this time that is not in sight. Which path they will take remains to be seen. Regardless of all this, the situation for citizens will continue to worsen. Therefore, it is up to Venezuelans to continue working to generate pressure on the regime. The situation is increasingly unsustainable and social protests will continue and grow. They will be the basis for the politicization. It is unknown if this will be led by current politicians, other politicians or civil society. It is this fact that will justify international support.