Brazil Suspends Sales of Tear Gas to Venezuela

Wall Street Journal WSJ-01The Brazilian government said it has suspended tear gas sales to Venezuela in response to its neighbor’s deadly repression of protests.

The decision comes after Venezuelan opposition last week published documents showing Rio de Janeiro-based security company Condor Tecnologias Não-Letais agreed to sell 78,000 gas canisters to the Venezuelan military despite the deaths of dozens of protesters.

“There’s a ban on tear gas to Venezuela” because of the country’s political crisis, said a Brazilian government official on Saturday, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak to the press.

Brazil’s Defense Ministry said Saturday that Condor’s gas “won’t be shipped,” without providing further details. The company, a longtime Venezuelan military supplier, didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

The ban is the latest sign of international isolation of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who’s battling an economic collapse, falling popularity and defections from the ruling party as protests against his rule approach 80th day. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

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