Friday, February 21, 2014

Diplomacy and Venezuela

A column in USA Today makes a case that there are no diplomats to hepl resolve the Venezuelan crisis, comparing it unfavorably to Europe. It rests on the assumption that diplomats are generated by trade, and there is not enough trade. I have no idea where this argument came from, and I am not convinced. Trade and diplomacy have no automatic assocation. Plus, Latin America has a long tradition of hesitance about overt intervention (covert has often been fine, but that's another story).

In any event, somehow this conclusion is reached:

That largely leaves economic sanctions as a way to influence the actions of the Venezuelan government.

I'm not sure at all why that follows. The chances that Latin American countries would impose economic sanctions are very, very close to zero--something really unusual would have to happen. Not only would that be out of character, but it would also very likely rally many people to Nicolás, thus negating whatever negative impact the sanctions were supposed to generate.


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