03/27/2014 10:08 am ET Updated May 27, 2014

Latin America's Ukraine

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Jorge G. Castañeda was Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2000-2003, after joining with his ideological opponent, President Vicente Fox, to create the country's first democratic government. He is currently a Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, and is the author of Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the Cold War and Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara.

MEXICO CITY -- Paradoxically, whereas the Western powers are probably powerless in Ukraine, Latin America's major players could exert great influence in stopping the unfolding economic, political, and human rights catastrophe in Venezuela. But doing so requires what most Latin American governments sorely lack: vision and courage.

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