The current situation in neighbouring Venezuela is tense. All eyes are on the forthcoming elections which ares scheduled for May 22. President Nicholás Maduro has given an undertaken that the will of the Venezulean people will be respected and that the elections will be free and fair.
The main political opposition is deeply fractured and has already signalled its intention to boycott the poll.
Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela are experiencing a difficult time which is due in no small measure to an economic and financial embargo imposed by the United States and other Western nations. The aim is to derail the Bolivarian Revolution initiated by the late President Hugo Chávez and which is being perpetuated by the Maduro administration.
It is interesting to see how the political situation will unfold in the months ahead. Despite the hardships faced by the Venezulean people, there is still considerable popular support for the Maduro government which continues to ride the wave of the pro-poor and socialist policies of the late President Hugo Chávez. Many Venezuleans were lifted out of poverty by the social policies and programmes of the administration, especially in the critical areas of education, health and housing.
I had the opportunity to visit the capital city Caracas recently and from what I have seen the situation is not as bad as the Western media is making it out to be. This is not to suggest that there are no shortages of basic food items and medical supplies, but certainly not of the scale as is being projected by the Western media.
It is interesting to see how the political situation will evolve in the period ahead. Unless the political opposition can get its act together, which seems highly unlikely, the Maduro government seems poised to be returned to office by a comfortable majority of the votes.