Germany won’t rule out EU sanctions against Venezuela

fox newsBERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is refusing to rule out European Union sanctions against Venezuela following a meeting with senior opposition figures.

Merkel’s office said she met briefly Wednesday in Berlin with Julio Borges, president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, and Freddy Guevara, the legislature’s first vice president. It said Venezuela’s current domestic political situation, its “worrying human rights situation” and worsening economic conditions in the country were the focus of talks.

Merkel pledged to support “the Venezuelan people and all democratic forces.” Her office said she “didn’t rule out EU sanctions” when it came to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

She urged President Nicolas Maduro’s government to reopen negotiations with the opposition and make good on a promised “national dialogue” in Venezuela. …

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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.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.