In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations on strengthening ties between Russia and Venezuela in the face of the United States, Afifa Abedi noted: There are two issues and general attitudes about Russian policy in Venezuela and Latin America. One is the Soviet traditional stance on Latin America, the result of which was the emergence of leftist currents that have been dominating Latin America for decades and are still in power; the other is the current Russian international policy opposing American unilateralism in different parts of the world.
Russia’s Int’l Positions against US Unilateralism
Referring to Russia’s sharp criticism of sanctions against Venezuela, she said, “Russia’s stance in this region and elsewhere can be assessed in the context of Moscow’s international policy against US unilateralism.” This is an approach that has been seriously pursued in the last two decades after coming to power of Vladimir Putin in Russia and has been costly to the United States.
The sharp criticism against US unilateralism in international politics by Russia or other countries has imposed expenses against Washington and compelled it to revise some policies informally and silently, the researcher at the Center for Strategic Research under the Expediency Council said. The accusations levelled against the United States is abusing its political and economic potentials have not been ineffective in Latin America either and this is nothing to be concealed.
He said that the set of political, military, economic, ideological and strategic reasons can be analyzed in terms of Russia’s attitude toward Venezuela and its active policy in Latin America. Venezuela, however, is a rich country with an important role to play in the energy market and Moscow can benefit from it. While the Kremlin knows Venezuela is a political-economic issue for America, Washington’s options against strengthening Moscow-Caracas relations are limited.
Washington in Latin America Cannot Behave Like Middle East
The international affairs analyst also cited a representative of the Trump administration saying Russia’s continued support for the Maduro government may no longer be without cost. She also said that although US military intervention in Venezuela has been under the pretext of supporting democracy in recent years, the US in the case of Latin American countries, cannot behave like the Middle East.
She explained that the United States cannot have those repeated excuses it usually has about Middle Eastern countries, such as the use of chemical weapons or the presence and actions of terrorist groups in the Latin American region, and it is inevitably a political tool and economic sanctions against countries such as Venezuela.
More US Intervention Leads to Higher Costs
Abedi described America’s bad reputation and criminal record in Latin American countries as hampering its unilateralism in the region, adding that despite dominance of leftist views and tendencies that are anti-American in the region, issues may arise if the US wants to make more intervention than economic sanctions things may happen to raise the costs for America. For this reason, conditions are prepared for Russia to pursue an active policy on Venezuela.
Moscow-Caracas Military Contracts Great American Challenges
The researcher at the CSR of the Expediency Council stating that Russia is trying to take advantage of the available suitable conditions politically or to strengthen its military presence in Latin America noted: “Russian warships and jet fighters have always been present in Latin America, and Moscow has had close relations with these countries. Russia can take advantage of the status quo to boost its presence in Latin America. The military deal between Moscow and Caracas, the creation of a military base, if combined with the presence of a naval fleet and possibly equipped with advanced weapons, will pose major challenges for the United States.”
Abedi went on to point out that in such circumstances the US government can use political and economic sanctions only in the short term: But in the long run – of course, it is less likely under the Trump administration – another scenario is plausible, namely if another government comes to power in the United States it would apply the same approach Barack Obama adopted on Cuba to countries such as Venezuela. The Obama administration used pressure tools to force Cuba to the negotiating table to reduce some of America’s challenges in the region.
At the same time, she emphasized: In the current situation, in the short and long terms, the dominant tendencies in these countries are one of the American challenges.
Asked whether these issues would diminish Washington’s role in Latin America, Abedi said: “In Latin America, there is a deep economic-political divide, but most analysts believe leftist views continue to prevail in the region until an uncertain future. These leftist views are naturally anti-American.
Stronger Russian Presence in LA Will Make the US Rethink Its Policies
“If the United States seeks to strengthen its presence in the region, it has no choice but to use political and economic tools and bring the other parties to the table with political approaches,” she said. Of course, it is unlikely for this strategy to be adopted during the Trump administration because of his irrational policies, but strengthening Russia’s presence in Latin America could give Washington a rethink of its traditional policy in the region.