I beg to differ with liberals who say the recent U.S. sanctions against individual members of the Venezuelan government are counterproductive. By the same token, I disagree with conservatives who dismiss them for being too light and applaud the White House and Congress efforts to punish Venezuelan drug traffickers and human rights violators for a very simple reason: in the rigged system of justice that Hugo Chavez set up in the country, it is impossible for any member of its repressive political system to ever face justice in a court of law.
The Obama administration last week embarked on a path to break diplomatic relations with Venezuela. But the drama was cut short last night when the Dutch government announced that it would not allow the extradition of Hugo Carvajal, a Venezuelan retired general and military officer whom Washington wanted to bring to trial in U.S. courts.
Once the black market differential is big enough, it also increases the incentive for corruption; unlike selling cocaine, you don't even need risk to leaving this world in a hail of bullets if you can get access to official dollars at 6.3 Bf and sell them for 72 on the black market.
While Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López remains behind bars as he awaits the July 23 start of his trial, his family has worked not only to get him released, but also to highlight the government's attempts to punish him for speaking out about the country's economic and political turmoil.
Unlike an industrial powerhouse like Germany, for example, few Caribbean countries are in a position to fully exploit their renewable energy potential.
Until the moment the plane took off, we feared we might be in clear and present danger. We had just spent the last month seeking refuge in a makeshift panic room we created in our Caracas apartment.
The future of Colombia had never been so dark and uncertain. Two years ago, President Juan Manuel Santos embarked the country into a negotiation process with the terrorist organization FARC in Habana, Cuba.
In my misery index, I calculate a ranking for all countries where suitable data from the Economist Intelligence Unit exist. A higher score in the misery index means that the country, and its constituents, are more miserable. Indeed, this is a table where you do not want to be first.
War more likely in the Balkans or sex in Brazil, turned into an unexpected UN Security Council debate. Is promiscuity for conflict, sex or soccer something embedded in our genes, culture or environment? Some stereotypes perhaps are better, or more accurately less harmful, but in the end they become a hurdle.
One cannot escape the ample media coverage of the 25th anniversary of what has come to be known as the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which it is estimated that at least 300, and possibly 3000 civilians, were killed by state forces.
In an election year in which there is nothing for politicians to gain from standing up to the bullies of the recently merged anti-Cuba and anti-Venezuela lobbies, this is significant. But even more striking were some of the points that the letter made about U.S. policy in the region.
Western media, which sides with the undemocratic and coup-prone opposition, have been content simply to denounce human rights violations. At the same time, they fail to report the murders committed by the protesters.
There is one direct approach to Caracas immediately available. The administration should challenge Maduro to restore normal diplomatic relations. The US and Venezuela have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010.
Diamanti joins a growing list of notable figures that have been incarcerated for opposing the authoritative regime of Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro.
The U.S. which has its own, profound democracy deficit, is working with reactionary forces in Venezuela to force it back to the bad old days when the poor and racial minorities lived under the thumb of Venezuela's rich oligarchy.
The crafting of Putin's new Euro-Asian vision -- in effect a new "Greater Russia" assembled from the remnants of the old Soviet Union in Central Asia and Europe -- has been greased by a pipeline delivery system under the Kremlin's control.