After months of clashes with the security forces, street demonstrations in Venezuela have calmed down, but the economic and political crisis is far from over. The fraudulently elected National Assembly is drafting a new Constitution that will subordinate the judicial system and legislative bodies to the executive branch. The result will be a new dictatorship in Latin America — the first in decades.
Having grabbed virtually total power to govern at will, President Nicolás Maduro has wasted no time in jailing political opponents, resorting to torture and repression against students, and silencing the remaining critical news media outlets. Despite a humanitarian disaster leading his country’s citizens to lose on average up to 10 percent of their weight, to be told to eat pet rabbits and to flee abroad by the hundreds of thousands, Hugo Chávez’s successor refuses to step down. Other countries in the region and the internal opposition must intensify their efforts to find a way out of the chaos. Talks in the Dominican Republic between officials from Mr. Maduro’s government and its opponents will not succeed by themselves. On Monday, President Trump hosted a dinner for the presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Panama and the vice president of Argentina at which they agreed to continue working together to resolve Venezuela’s problems. They might achieve something, but only if another country is brought into the equation: Cuba. Read more