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By Keith Bernard

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 8, 2024: In the current geopolitical landscape marked by Venezuela’s persistent rhetoric regarding the annexation of the Essequibo region of Guyana, including action taken by the President of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela to promulgate “the Organic Law for the Defense of Guayana Esequiba” it’s intriguing to contemplate the strategic maneuvers that Niccolò Machiavelli, the renowned political philosopher, might advocate in response to such a situation.

STVINCENT-VENEZUELA-GUYANA-DIPLOMACY-ESSEQUIBO
This handout picture released by the Venezuelan Presidency shows Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (R)shakes hand with Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali(L) during a meeting in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines on December 14, 2023. (Photo by MARCELO GARCIA / VENEZUELAN PRESIDENCY / AFP) /

Machiavelli, known for his pragmatic approach to power politics and statecraft, would likely view Venezuela’s ambitions through the lens of realpolitik, prioritizing the preservation of national interests and the attainment of strategic objectives by any means necessary.

Firstly, Machiavelli would advise Guyana to adopt a shrewd and cunning stance in its dealings with Venezuela. Recognizing the imbalance in power dynamics between the two nations, Machiavelli would caution against overt confrontation and instead advocate for astute diplomacy aimed at exploiting divisions within Venezuela’s leadership and garnering support from powerful external allies.

Furthermore, Machiavelli would emphasize the importance of leveraging alliances and fostering strategic partnerships to bolster Guyana’s position on the international stage. By cultivating relationships with influential regional and global actors, Guyana could amplify its diplomatic clout and deter Venezuela from pursuing its annexation agenda through a combination of persuasion and coercion.

In addition, Machiavelli would advise Guyana to engage in a calculated game of brinkmanship, employing strategic ambiguity and veiled threats to keep Venezuela off balance and uncertain of Guyana’s response. Machiavelli famously stated, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” Thus, Guyana could benefit from cultivating an aura of unpredictability and assertiveness to dissuade Venezuela from escalating tensions further.

Moreover, Machiavelli would counsel Guyana to exploit Venezuela’s internal vulnerabilities and instabilities to its advantage. By capitalizing on economic pressures, political divisions, and societal discontent within Venezuela, Guyana could undermine the regime’s capacity to pursue aggressive foreign policies, thereby weakening Venezuela’s resolve to annex the Essequibo region.

However, Machiavelli would also caution against complacency and overreach, reminding Guyana of the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between assertiveness and restraint. Machiavelli’s pragmatism dictates that while it is essential to safeguard national interests and project strength, excessive aggression or provocation could backfire and escalate into a full-blown conflict with unpredictable consequences.

In conclusion, Machiavelli’s timeless principles of realpolitik offer valuable insights into navigating the complexities of Venezuela’s annexation rhetoric. By adopting a calculated and cunning approach rooted in diplomacy, strategic maneuvering, and the exploitation of vulnerabilities, Guyana can effectively safeguard its territorial integrity and deter Venezuela from pursuing its expansionist ambitions.

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