How the World Can Help Venezuelans Save Their Democracy

How the World Can Help Venezuelans Save Their Democracy
Demonstrators who oppose the Venezuelan government chant outside of the Organization of American States during a meeting on recent events in Venezuela, Washington, April 3, 2017 (AP photo by Jose Luis Magana).

Venezuela is spiraling out of control. Daily life is growing ever more dire for most of the population, and the prospects for political reconciliation and an end to the humanitarian emergency are looking increasingly dim under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV. As the opposition struggles, so far unsuccessfully, to put an end to the crisis, the question arises: What can—or should—the international community do to help the Venezuelan people?

On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council held a closed-door meeting on the matter, a sign that the issue’s importance on the global agenda is rising. So far, there is no consensus on what the best role for outsiders is in this drama, but there are visible paths and sound suggestions that should guide it.

The country is experiencing three simultaneous and closely linked crises: humanitarian, economic and political. It is difficult to exaggerate the depth and speed of deterioration on the three fronts.

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