Venezuela on ‘long slide toward chaos’


Venezuela is a failing state. Despite having the world’s largest proven hydrocarbon reserves, the nation is bankrupt, says Eric Farnsworth, the Vice President of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas:

Basic consumer goods are scarce or unavailable. Purchasing power is falling fast as a result of the world’s highest inflation rate. The healthcare system is in a state of collapse. Infrastructure is in disrepair. Common crime is out of control as the social order begins to break down. The U.S. alleges leading government figures to be engaged in narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

Welcome to the Bolivarian Revolution, he writes for The National Interest:

“The December 2015 elections were a turning point for Venezuela as the Maduro regime radicalizes in the wake of its massive electoral rebuke. The question now is whether the full potential of the results will be realized or whether they will be diluted or reversed as Chavismo fights back,” Farnsworth adds:

What is clear at this point, however, is that without U.S. leadership the international community will not coalesce around an effort to support democracy in Venezuela. …. In addition, the United States is in a stronger position now to play a regional leadership role, given its continued economic recovery coupled with slowdown in South America and the weakening of institutions that exclude the United States (and Canada) such as UNASUR. Recognizing this, the United States should heighten its efforts within international bodies, including the OAS, to promote a prodemocracy strategy for Venezuela now that the regime’s DNA has been revealed. Washington should work with other willing democratic leaders in the hemisphere to call out Venezuela for its antidemocratic abuses, building momentum and support for current (and not just former) leaders to speak out. 

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