Nicolás Maduro’s bumbling brings a messy end to his presidency closer

The EconomistWhatever his awful defects, Hugo Chávez showed it when he was riding high as Venezuela’s firebrand leader. So too did Fidel Castro when he played a similar role in Cuba. A strongman in a crisis needs charisma. Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s current president, has none. 

Take, for example, the moment on September 2nd when his motorcade passed through the gritty municipality of Villa Rosa on the island of Margarita. This used to be a red district, whose residents mostly backed the ruling leftists in December’s elections. But that support is vanishing. Margarita, like the rest of the country, has seen months of food and power shortages and, in particular, a lack of running water. When locals heard the president was coming, they reacted with a show of cacerolazo—banging pots and pans.  …

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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.

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