Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserve in the world, is on the verge of the civil war where the U.S. supports rebels and Russia backs Maduro.

Maduro vs Guaido
Venezuela is split between leaders and the world is taking sides.

(— January 25, 2019) — Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said that the President Nicolas Maduro is a “legitimate president” portraying the support of the Venezuelan military. He argued that the opposition leader Juan Guaido is carrying out a “coup d’état”.

Opposition leader and speaker of the Venezuelan Parliament Juan Guaido declared himself to be a temporary president on Wednesday. He was immediately was recognized as the provisional president by the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Guatemala and Costa Rica. It is expected that all NATO countries will recognize Guaydo in the next few days.  On the other hand Russia, China, Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey, Iran and Syria promptly backed Maduro.

The Russian leader Vladimir Putin emphasized that “destructive foreign interference tramples on basic norms of the international law.” The Kremlin statement Thursday said Putin called for “overcoming differences in the Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue.” Russia has been a key sponsor and ally of Venezuela, and last month it deployed two Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela for several days.

Padrino stressed that the U.S. and some other countries are leading an economic war against Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world.

The Venezuelan army refused to recognize Guaydo as the provisional president.

During and after the election, there was an escalation where ten people were killed in mass protests, the government continued the arrests of opposition politicians, and the United States imposed new sanctions on Maduro and other representatives of the Venezuelan authorities. In addition to the chaos and violence, the country suffers from chronic shortages of food and medicine.

Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies Terry Lynn Karl, author of the book “The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (Studies in International Political Economy),” estimates that the incredible aspect of the Venezuelan crisis is allowing us to witness the collapse of a large, rich, modern state with a democratic and authoritarian tradition, which is located near the United States and which has the world’s largest crude oil reserves.

This scenario could lead to a refugee crisis, expand instability in the region and further expand crime in Central America and the Caribbean, but also spark a civil war in Venezuela, Lynn Karl warns.

República Bolivariana de Venezuela, a state located in the northern part of South America, is located between Colombia in the west, Brazil in the south and Guyana in the east, while in the north it goes up to the shores of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast.