Friday, November 04, 2016

Summing Up the Venezuela Crisis

Chris Sabatini just published an article at Foreign Affairs on Venezuela. He gives a good overview of the situation and then rightfully focuses on the failure of Latin America to come to grips with the crisis.

The threat of broad social conflict or collapse in Venezuela is real. Seventeen years of chavista government have hollowed out and corrupted the state, sent the economy into a downward spiral, brought food shortages and malnutrition, and turned Venezuelans against each other. With no other means left for Venezuelans to express their frustrations and demand accountability for the humanitarian disaster they now face, citizens will increasingly take to the streets, but they have no clear end goal. At some point, the standoff between the government and its citizens could explode. Until now, Venezuela's neighbors have been largely silent bystanders, hoping that the crisis will somehow resolve itself. As the electoral council's announcement and the failed mediation that followed showed, it will not.

For now, we await the results of the dialogue, however long that takes.


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