Source: Sputnik Mundo
What’s the article about: The article looks to understand why Chile, Brazil and Colombia are reaching out to China in relation to finding a solution for the situation in Venezuela. The article notes that the topic of Venezuela has come up during recent interactions between China and these three countries. According to Jiang Shixue, professor at Shanghai University, there are four reasons why these countries are looking toward China to help them find a solution for the Venezuelan crisis: 1) China is the second largest economy in the world; 2) China’s influence increases in the global arena; 3) China is a member of the UN Security Council; and 4) China has good standing relations with Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Chile. Other reasons for why these countries are seeking the help of China are because: none of these countries want to resolve the issue in the way that the U.S. had proposed to do so—through a direct attack and recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim President— and due to its limited reach in Latin America, it was inconvenient to include the United States.
Why it’s misleading: The article is misleading in a number of ways. To start, the article is trying to convey that Colombia, Chile and Brazil would rather work alongside China to resolve the crisis in Venezuela, than the United States. This is not true. The U.S. along with these Latin American countries have been key allies to interim President Juan Guaidó’s opposition coalition and they are very much still working together to resolve the situation in Venezuela—with the U.S. sending humanitarian aid to countries affected by the influx of Venezuelan migrants. Second, although U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, refuse to take a “military option” off of the table, that is not the only means of handling the situation the U.S. government supports. Apart from expressing their support in favor of Guaidó, the U.S. government is working to remove President Nicolas Maduro from power through a series of sanctions on individuals and state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.
Lastly, while it is true there are calls by Latin American countries for China to contribute to finding a solution in Venezuela—similar to calls for Russia to participate—the reasons for this vary. As was mentioned in the article, Latin American countries and China are on opposing sides of this conflict. Colombia, Chile and Brazil have all backed Guaidó, while China remains loyal to the Maduro regime. Any call for cooperation from China, is a call to end the economic partnership between China and Venezuela. China, along with Russia, have lent Venezuela billions of dollars which are in large part responsible for keeping the Maduro regime afloat. To this point, Latin American governments, including Brazil, have been critical of Russia and China’s position over the situation in Venezuela.