Halting Venezuela’s Meltdown

Real Clear World-01Venezuela’s crisis combines mind-boggling economic mismanagement, private-sector decimation, the crippling of democratic institutions, the suppression of individual freedom, and widespread human rights violations. Severe shortages of food and medicine coupled with hyperinflation are a daily struggle for most Venezuelans, except for elite government officials, some of whom are facing drug trafficking, money laundering, and corruption accusations. Given that Venezuela’s crisis is man-made, the international community has found it difficult to agree on a unified response. However, Venezuela’s Supreme Court decision to revoke the opposition-dominated congressional authority, and President Nicolas Maduro’s subsequent mandate to reverse it overnight, should dispel any remaining reservations on the need for urgent, coherent action. Denying parliament’s legislative powers represents not only an unconstitutional act, but also the final straw leading the Organization of American States (OAS) and multiple other international organizations and countries to declare Venezuela a dictatorship. …

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About

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.