Political violence in Venezuela is not the solution

Eduardo Alvarez/ Contributing Writer 

Explosions rocked an event in which Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, the presumed target, escaped unscathed on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Regardless of who tried to kill him, the action indicates just how desperate the country’s situation is.

The U.S. recently expressed its support in creating an independent commission aimed at investigating what happened. And although they condemned all sorts of political violence, they also didn’t mince words in calling Maduro by what he is: a tyrant.

His narrow escape from death has bolstered his image, and worse, its given him license to apply even more violence on opposition members.

Blood and chaos, no matter how tempting, usually lead to more blood and chaos. As cruel and despotic as a leader may be, those who call label themselves defenders of democracy should aspire with even more zeal to be everything a tyrant isn’t, and that includes discarding violence as an escape hatch for a nation’s troubles.

Easier said than done, obviously. It’s easy to make such a judgment from the comfort of one’s home in the United States of America, while Venezuelans are being jailed, murdered by government-funded biker gangs, and forced to go to sleep with empty stomachs. However, that doesn’t make the judgment wrong.

It may not have even been the Venezuelan opposition. For all we know, Maduro and his cronies staged the whole thing. The dictator himself accused outgoing Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos. Visibly shaken in the public address he delivered moments after the assassination attempt; it’s hard to see the line between delirium and political calculation.

The victims of the occurrence are nonetheless the Venezuelan people, and the whole thing serves as a pretext for discussing the moral and practical implications of tyrannicide.

Some of you Brutuses out there may say he deserves it; but lest we become tyrants ourselves, we must remember that tyrants are still human beings, with the natural right to a fair trial.

That’s how we should deal with dictators.

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Marquinam on Flickr. 

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