After winning its first electoral victory in more than 16 years, the Venezuelan opposition is divided over whether to pursue an electoral or extra-legal path to power. Unfortunately, the U.S. government's foreign policy apparatus is also divided.
My beloved, fractious Venezuela offers a cautionary tale to the United States: You don't want your democracy to end up looking like ours. This has not only polluted the public sphere -- it also invaded the private one, soiling relations among friends, parents, wives, husbands and children.
CARACAS, Venezuela -- In the span of a few hours the 17-year stranglehold of an opprobrious regime on Venezuelan voters was broken, democracy could breathe again, tears were shed, flags waved and in the land of Bolívar the tide of history turned. Things will not be transformed overnight, but they will never be the same again in Venezuela or Latin America: change has come and it is here to stay.
In all the talk about the Venezuelan government's alleged "repressiveness," there has been little to no discussion of its neighbor, and close U.S. ally, Colombia, whose military admittedly killed over 5,000 of its own civilians and claimed they were guerillas in order to justify the continued massive military support from the U.S.
As Venezuela's political opposition celebrates its first electoral victory in 17 years by gaining control of the national legislature, uncertainty still bedevils the country's political landscape. Once the euphoria of victory subsides, a new phase of escalating confrontation will ensue between President Nicolás Maduro and the new opposition-led congress.
The Bolivarian Revolution has become hard to defend. It suffers from the highest inflation on the planet, a deep and prolonged recession, widespread and chronic shortages of basic staples and medicines, crumbling public services, one the world's highest murder rates, and rampant and unprecedented levels of corruption. Venezuela is looking more and more like a failed state than a prosperous petrostate with the world's largest oil reserves .
Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution will face its toughest challenge yet this Sunday, when voters go to the polls to elect a new National Assembly. Amid an economic crisis marked by currency instability and inflation, many Venezuelans are understandably going to be thinking hard before re-electing incumbent, Nicolás Maduro.
By attempting to delegitimize -- with no evidence of possible fraud -- Venezuela's upcoming election, the U.S. and some of its allies are promoting instability and possible violence.
Just as big fish eat little fish and lions prey on antelope, so there is no moral shame in the U.S. government trying to undermine, destabilize or get rid of democratically elected governments that it doesn't like.
The authorities don't learn. They don't take into account that the bars magnify a political leader and the pain suffered in the cells hangs on his chest like a medal won on the bloodiest battlefield.
LA PAZ, Bolivia -- It is simple: if Trump can blame U.S. problems on small neighbors like Mexico, ascribing conspiracy plots to their "devious" government and agitate American voters to hate Mexicans, then strongmen like Venezuela's Maduro can more credibly blame the economic catastrophe they have caused in their own countries on "the U.S. empire" and justify a cruel domestic political crackdown.
LA PAZ - In all likelihood, Venezuela will produce another mythical figure: Leopoldo Lopez, the movie star-handsome, Harvard-educated son of privilege, who chose to dedicate his life to public service in his home country. He clearly had passion to serve and steel in his spine, so his potentially comfortable life turned out to be rather different than expected. History beckoned.
Given his virtuoso performance as a power broker who helped thaw a half-a-century-old conflict between Cuba and the U.S., the audience Pope Francis has granted Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro this coming Sunday has aroused hopes the Argentinian pope can instill a sense of normalcy to Venezuela's political life.
The resistance displayed by OAS leaders to U.S.-imposed sanctions during the recent OAS summit highlights the severity of the credibility gap the United States faces in its attempts to counter adverse political conditions in Venezuela.
The main scene of the tragedy experienced in the Havana capital is indoors, in the homes where they couldn't save even a chair, but the official press tries to minimize it because it happened a few hours before the "triumphant" First of May.
The contradiction between the Venezuela sanctions and the opening to Cuba is probably more apparent than real. A majority of the U.S. foreign policy establishment has wanted to normalize relations with Cuba since at least the 1990s.