Thursday, June 29, 2017

Quarantining Venezuela

The New York Times published an op-ed by Enrique Krauze, which calls for "quarantine."

And yet, in solidarity with the courageous Venezuelan people, Europe and the major countries of Latin America could support a quarantine — diplomatic, financial, commercial and political — of the outlaw regime of Mr. Maduro. They might persuade the first Latin American pope to take a stronger stand and together pressure Raúl Castro to accept a democratic solution: a halt to the repression, immediate elections, the re-establishment of civil liberties, respect for democratic institutions and the release of political prisoners.

Good lord, people. This is what we finally figured out didn't work with Cuba. Go ahead, punish the Venezuelan people with an embargo and see whether this magically makes the Maduro government and his military backers go away, or whether it simply deepens repression. Krauze argues the Trump administration should stay out of it, but I don't think that matters. Logic is logic.

And indeed, Krauze argued not long ago that the Obama administration had regained the moral high ground by rejecting quarantine with Cuba. The same logic should apply to other countries as well.

In re-establishing relations with Cuba, the United States renounces its “imperial destiny” and recovers much of the moral legitimacy needed to uphold the democratic values that led to its foundation (and also of the countries of Latin America). Obama’s action is meant for the good of all the Americas, including the United States. And freedom of expression in Cuba is an absolute necessity for its success. No people or country is an island unto itself. The Castro dynasty has kept Cuba as such for 56 years.

Yes, we should take his earlier advice, not his later.


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