Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Responding to the Venezuela Controversy

I'm quoted in this story about how the Obama administration is responding (or might continue to respond) to the decision in Venezuela to block some legislators until unspecified concerns about the election are decided. The main question was how the OAS would react, and I think the answer is weakly. By and large, it wants to reward the Venezuelan government for a clean election where it accepted a stinging loss. Invoking the democracy clause--meaning even possibly suspending a government--is very unlikely.

For now, we're waiting to see what the final response is. If the legislators are blocked, thus conveniently avoiding a 2/3 opposition majority, then it's a lot more serious but I still can't see the OAS doing much beyond Luis Almagro making a statement.

What can/should the Obama administration do? You have the choice of a strongly worded statement and some kind of sanctions. I don't think either one will affect the situation much. If the governments of Latin America sit back, there is little way to pressure the already desperate Venezuelan government. We can only hope that even those governments are quiet publicly, they are pushing privately, and that may be the case.


aap punjab 3:36 AM  

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