Late last week I went downstairs to write and get some fresh air.
My peace lasted for about two minutes before other neighbors arrived with their family and friends. Everyone was trying to get fresh air without venturing outside of the gate it seemed.
I wasn’t mad at it. It actually lifted my spirits to watch two kids kick around a soccer ball.
One of my twenty-something year old neighbors sat beside me.
She told me in English “We [the protestors] are waiting for Obama.”
I looked at her. I thought about what I was told concerning keeping a low profile and not entering into political conversations.
I can’t lie. I spoke for over an hour with a different neighbor about Venezuelan and American politics (a neighbor who was helping to man the roadblocks no less), but this felt different.
“He’s not coming,” I said bluntly.
Now, I’m not a foreign policy analyst or expert. I probably followed world events more in college than I do now. But I do know that the US has a dark history in Latin America and Obama is more of a diplomat than a “send in the troops” type of president.
In my opinion, past US-intervention in Latin America, Obama’s MO, and the current Venezuelan government’s very transparent and open animosity towards all things US have me thinking that I’ll sooner see a whale in a desert than an American soldier in Venezuela.
Quite frankly, I don’t think the US should be the world police. That is what gets us in trouble.
Conflict breaks out. Some people want the US to come and help, others don’t. If we don’t, we look insensitive, uncaring, and amoral (for those who like to use moral arguments for why the US should help with X conflict).
If we do, we look like a bully, a militant world force, and over bearing.
Either way, someone’s upset.
The main issue, in my opinion, shouldn’t be whether or not the US intervenes. The main issue should be where are the regional forces that help a specific country when it’s in trouble? Regions of the world, be they Africa, Asia, Europe, or Latin America need to be able to police themselves without looking to the US for intervention when things get ugly.
Counting on US intervention infantilizes a nation that is full of eloquent, capable, artistic, and amazing adults who can (re)build a nation for themselves. It puts the US in a parent role, a parent who is coming to sort out a fight between siblings over a toy.
Quite frankly, if I wasn’t an American citizen I would be giving the US the side eye if it was saying it was “coming to help.” Actually, I still do whenever the government says that.
So, as I looked at my neighbor with a now slightly crest-fallen expression, I didn’t know how to say all of this in Spanish and didn’t feel right saying it in English with too many ears around (Don’t be fooled; there are plenty of people here who whipped out English on me when I thought they only spoke Spanish).
I just said again, “He’s not coming,” and stood up to peer over the wall as a small group of people milled about the blockades.