The practical effects of the U.S. sanctions for the seven Venezuelan officials concerned are minimal. The impasse between Washington and Caracas will eventually be solved. But the final and most important question remains unanswered...
The U.S. has a spotty and turbulent history intervening in Latin America and the Caribbean, but outside of drug interdiction, the western hemisphere has largely taken a backseat when it comes to foreign policy during the Obama administration.
What the Venezuela sanctions made clear is that President Obama's opening to Cuba represented exactly zero change in Washington's overall strategy toward the region: The intention of expanding commercial and diplomatic relations with Cuba was mainly to pursue a more effective strategy of undermining the Cuban government -- and all the left governments in the region.
It's time for a confession. I have worked as a "foreign agent."
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.
Venezuela has the dubious honor of registering the world's highest inflation rate. According to my estimate, the annual implied inflation rate in Venezuela is 252 percent. The only other country in which this rate is in triple digits is Ukraine, where the inflation rate is 111 percent.
I had the privilege of interviewing Bituaya, a very diverse Venezuelan band -- with roots in the Afro-Venezuela, indigenous and white communities -- that fuses electronic and Caribbean music.
Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan has invited several world leaders to Yerevan on April 24 to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Here are 10 reasons why Air Force One should make an auspicious landing in Yerevan's Zvartnots International Airport on April 24.
MEXICO CITY -- For the last 15 years, Venezuela has been mired in crisis, characterized by wasteful government spending, rampant corruption, growing authoritarianism, relentless human rights violations, and now economic collapse. But, beyond the occasional sharp word from the late President Hugo Chávez, the periodic expropriation of a foreign company without adequate compensation, and some minor meddling in the elections of neighboring countries, the crisis barely registered abroad. This is no longer the case.
Where there is complexity there is depth, and in my week long trip to Curacao, I took pleasure in peeling away the many layers that make this autonomous country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands just plain beautiful.
A focus on the Middle East, Russia and East Europe, and East Asia is always warranted. But it would be a mistake for the United States to ignore events in its own hemisphere, especially as we've seen what happens when a problem isn't addressed until it is too late.
While the press continues to vilify Venezuela, to the exclusion of any Colombian coverage, Colombians are actually seeking safe haven in Venezuela -- an irony worth noting.
After years, no decades, of a diplomatic low profile in the Americas, the United States is staging a comeback that just might bear the elements, and fruits, of serious strategy.
On Saturday morning, the local Caracas TV stations captured our attention with footage of a daring escape by a rebel pilot, who ejected from his plane seconds before a fiery crash at La Carlota military airport.
All this to hide that he doesn't know how to govern and can only imitate the dismal model he's inherited from his mentors of the Plaza of the Revolution. The result is a bad copy of the Cuban model, a crude replica in which ideology has ceded its entire terrain to the ravings of a man.
Even with the economic problems in Venezuela, the government has decided to press forward in fully funding its social programs.