President Michel Temer authorized the use of the Brazilian Armed Forces in the Guarantee of Law and Order from October 31 to December 31, 2018, in the northern border State of Roraima, for the protection of facilities and activities related to the reception of refugees from Venezuela.
In fact, the measure expands the length of the military’s stay in the area, whose GLO decree ended on Tuesday. It will effectively allow Temer and Bolsonaro to increase the number of armed personnel at Venezuela’s border.
But has the use of the Armed Forces and internationalization programs by the federal government so far been effective in resolving the issue?
For Márcio Coelho, a journalist, geographer and administrator, from Pacaraima, Roraima, it was a right decision because, despite the reduction of the flow of Venezuelans, the movement in the border continues to be intense.
“It was more organized,” the journalist explained. “At the same border, together with the Federal Police, the army helps in the reception of [the refugees], in the issuance of documents, with the UNHCR”.
“The work of the army is very important and very valid here,” he added.
“This situation in Venezuela will not end so soon and it will be a problem for the next president, so I believe that this transition team should address this issue. The people of Roraima believe that the government of Michel Temer did not give enough help. When the army was sent, the number of Venezuelans was already very high, and I believe that the new president must deal with this issue with an iron hand,” concluded Márcio Coelho.
The professor of International Relations of the Federal University of Roraima, in Boa Vista, João Carlos Jarochinski Silva, also does not consider the decision as something negative. The security situation in the state is still unstable, and the Armed Forces offer many services in the region and enjoy legitimacy next to the local position. In this way the violence was stopped, he claims.
“In this respect, it was important the presence of the Armed Forces, which made possible a scenario of appeasement, which was not complete, since there is a scenario of violence, but at least in the regions of the shelters and effective action of the Brazilian State, no major occurrences were recorded. So it was relatively successful, providing even greater assurance for civil society organizations working in this area and for international organizations,” said the professor.
At the same time, the role of the U.S’ campaign against Venezuela, through sanctions and pressure on Caracas’ trading partners, cannot be overlooked. There preceded an international decrease in oil prices, and the Caracas government was reliant on these revenues to make the federal budget manageable. The U.S sanctions on Venezuela now encompass a considerable sphere. The resultant impact on the economy of these two factors has caused an increase in economic migration out of Venezuela, to neighboring states. As the U.S was supportive of the installation of Temer, the removal of the PT, and supportive of the campaign of Bolsonaro, Washington is in the position to push Brazil to take an increasingly hostile position against Venezuela.
Creating a large scale war in Latin America would be one way that the U.S could more overtly pursue its interests and overturn the last vestiges of the so-called pink wave.
Brazil in a position where legitimately they can claim that sending armed personnel to the border is necessary, while simultaneously fulfilling their new obligations to the United States to begin to exert overt military pressure on Venezuela’s border. Doing this under the pretext of a migrant/refugee crisis which itself was caused by the U.S manipulation of global oil prices as well as the overt measure of the sanctions policy against Caracas, seems to take the form of design.