03/07/2014 11:58 am ET Updated May 07, 2014

Venezuelans, Like Ukrainians, Are Not Alone


Andrés Velasco is a former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile. He is a professor of professional practice in international development at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Latin America's regional institutions are weak -- even weaker than Europe's. But it also reveals something else: a morally crooked logic that condemns governments and leaders to remain silent in the face of aggression, repression and even death, because to say anything would be tantamount to "intervention" in another country's internal affairs.

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.

Read more at Project Syndicate .