Venezuela’s Crisis — Right On Our Doorstep

ForbesFor the last few weeks the most violent city in the world has reached new terrible lows. No, not Baghdad. No, not Kabul. The most violent city in the world, in terms of homicides, violent crime, and police brutality, is actually Caracas; right on our doorstep.

Venezuela, a country awash with natural resources, has been systematically dismantled by two Socialist dictators in two decades. Economic mismanagement, nationalization and expropriation of private enterprise, exorbitant corruption, and a trickle down culture of cronyism and impunity have left Venezuela as the poorest nation in the America; right on our doorstep.

With the death of Hugo Chavez, things have gone from bad to worse. His successor Nicolas Maduro has hammered rusty nails into the coffin of Venezuelan democracy. With all the powers removed from the opposition led parliament, the Supreme Court filled with regime cronies, the constitution undermined at every step, and pro-democracy voices silenced by both imprisonment and torture, Venezuelans have been pushed to the very edge. A true state of terror; right on our doorstep. …

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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.