Whatever befalls the Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela in the short run, will undoubtedly define the masked strength or the inherent weakness of regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. Hence, Venezuela's present predicament is a laboratory into the study of sovereignty, influence and soundness of regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.
While many nations in Latin America and the Caribbean could easily concur with the largely western thought that Maduro's government in Venezuela is tainted and may lack legitimacy, they are however confronted with the dilemma of supporting an American-Canadian-European fix to Maduro's tenure in lieu of their own regional solution to the ending crisis.
Direct regional acceptance of the American-Canadian recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela would amount to yielding to dictated influence from large influential partners. Similarly, regional support of Europe's demand for an immediate redo of presidential elections in Venezuela, could imply caving in to exterior commands from past colonial masters - a further weakening of regional sovereignty.
That some regional nations would support the two actions, while others would oppose one or both of them, is affirmation of the challenge and test the Venezuelan predicament poses to deeper integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. An inherent weakness of the region has always been its reliance on solutions from elsewhere, instead of homemade remedies amid its masked strength of diversity and growing influence of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Venezuelan challenge could be won and regional integration could be deeped by regional members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), acting under Venezuelan law per Article 233 of the constitution, by monitoring, a recall election by popular vote and facilitating Venezuelans who have fled to Colombia and elsewhere in taking part in the democratic exercise.
[This Post is a reprint of an Article I published on LinkedIn yesterday because my Internet publisher was experiencing technical problems.]