Brazil may be in the spotlight if Venezuela moves to new regime

. Jan 24, 2019
Brazil may be in the spotlight if Venezuela moves to new regime

Brazil followed the international trend on Wednesday and recognized Mr. Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, replacing Nicolás Maduro. The country promises to politically and economically support a transition process in their northern neighbor, which may lead to an even bigger role on the local stage.

The decision was announced by President Jair Bolsonaro on Twitter and is in line with countries such as the United States and Colombia. Mr. Guaidó is the president of the opposition-led National Assembly and has promised to fight for a transition government and free elections.

</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Large parts of the international community—and the Venezuelan opposition—do not recognize Mr. Maduro’s second term as president, won through elections which were suspected to be rigged. The Venezuelan regime, on the other hand, does not recognize the National Assembly and has held it in contempt. Mr. Maduro has also declared a break in all relationships with the USA. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a local leader, Brazil has an important role in legitimizing the Venezuelan opposition&#8217;s attempt to seize power and could benefit from a new relationship with its neighbor, according to Leandro Gabiati, a political scientist and director at Dominium Consultoria.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Right now there’s an ideological alignment between the USA, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. That may lead to a common direction in a transition process if Mr. Maduro is ousted, but Brazil will probably want to take the lead,” Mr. Gabiati told </span><b>The Brazilian Report</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “It would be in the country&#8217;s interests for Venezuela to remove Mr. Maduro with Brazil&#8217;s help. It may lead to an increase in economic partnerships to help rebuild Venezuela and even military cooperations. There are many areas in which both can cooperate.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The political crisis in Venezuela has shredded the country’s economy,</span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"> leading to a humanitarian disaster</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Current inflation reached 1,300,000 percent in November and there is a general shortage of food and medicines, creating a huge exodus of its citizens to other countries in Latin America.</span></p> <h2>Venezuelan migration</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One destination of Venezuelan migrants is the northern Brazilian state of Roraima. The state was under federal intervention last month and receives an influx of 300 people per day. Covered by many environmental protection areas and indigenous lands, Roraima does not have the structural or economic conditions to support the migrants. Refugees are seen living on the streets or in shelters provided by Brazil’s federal government in state capital Boa Vista and border town Pacaraima. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to data from the office of the President&#8217;s Chief of Staff, in December, there were 5,723 Venezuelans living in 13 shelters in Roraima, but many more came to other Brazilian cities, or returned to Venezuela. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Among the effects of the disorganized migration, there are reports of </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">riots from the local population</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and energy blackouts. The state receives around 70 percent of its energy from Venezuela, being the only one in Brazil not connected to the national grid.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Gabiati’s view, Roraima’s fate is linked to what happens to Venezuela. “If Mr. Maduro falls, it is likely that the immigrants will go back home. But if he is able to respond to these protests, the situation [in Roraima] is going to be even more troublesome,” he says.

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Natália Scalzaretto

Natália Scalzaretto has worked for companies such as Santander Brasil and Reuters, where she covered news ranging from commodities to technology. Before joining The Brazilian Report, she worked as an editor for Trading News, the information division from the TradersClub investor community.

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