It would have been preposterous to tell Ukrainian demonstrators facing government storm troopers to just grin and bear it without any external solidarity or support. It is just as preposterous to tell Venezuelan demonstrators the same thing. In these circumstances, the principle of self-determination, so beloved of foreign ministries everywhere, becomes an empty slogan.
Venezuela is now the world champion of inflation, homicide, insecurity, and shortages of essential goods -- from milk for children to insulin for diabetics and all kinds of indispensable products. All this despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world and a government with absolute control of all state institutions and levers of power.