“The disastrous situation that developed in Venezuela is a direct result of the short-sighted and populist policies of President Hugo Chávez and then his protege, President Nicolas Maduro,” Azerbaijani political scientist, MGIMO graduate Mustafa Gurbanli told Report.

He noted that all these developments occur despite the fact that Venezuela is very rich in resources.

“There are almost 300 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in the country, and it is the world leader in terms of these indicators. Despite the fact that Venezuela has a huge economic potential, the country’s foreign debt for 2018 exceeds $ 100 billion, and gold and foreign exchange reserves of the 32 mln-strong population are less than $10 billion. This is yet another evidence that isthe country’s leadership was farsighted and pursued an effective policy, the country is doomed, even if it is in the first place in terms of oil reserves,” the expert emphasized.

Gurbanli believes that the only way out of the situation is to reject populism, start profound political and economic reforms, and ensure a direct dialogue between the people and the country’s leadership:

“Unequivocally, the interference of external forces in the internal processes in the country is unacceptable. Venezuela itself must understand the situation. This is the key to a long-term solution.”

According to the expert, the events taking place in Venezuela and the attempts of foreign states to directly influence the processes in the country can become a negative precedent in international relations.

“It is necessary to allow the citizens of Venezuela to sort out their own problems. Only in this way can a stable and prosperous society be built. I very much hope that common sense will prevail and that a civil war will not start in Venezuela. In the event of such a scenario, the entire region will suffer from the flow of refugees and destabilized situation. The crime rate will increase significantly in neighboring countries, where people, who have nothing to lose, will be forced to flee. Already today, more than 4 million people have left Venezuela, and this outflow has its negative consequences for the region”, Gurbanli summed up.