Facing the Failure of Our Cruel Venezuela Policy

After four years of failure and worsening hardship for the Venezuelan people, there may now be a chance for a serious rethinking of this policy

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Venezuelan opposition legislators voted last week to dissolve their interim government, and with that they have ended the project of trying to replace Maduro with Juan Guaidó:

But nearly four years later and with little to show for the effort, the experiment has come to an end. On Friday, the opposition lawmakers who once rallied behind Guaidó voted 72-29 to dissolve their so-called interim government, effectively ending his mandate.

This was a long overdue move. Guaidó never had control of anything outside the National Assembly in Venezuela, and eventually he didn’t really have control over that. The U.S. made a major mistake in trying to foment regime change in Venezuela, and the backing of Guaidó was a perfect example of why the policy never made any sense. The entire policy has been an exercise in wishful thinking and reckless meddling from the start. After four years of failure and worsening hardship for the Venezuelan people, there may now be a chance for a serious rethinking of this policy.

Dumping Guaidó was a necessary move, but it was one that should have been done years ago. Following almost four years of ineffective efforts to dislodge Maduro, Guaidó’s standing with the Venezuelan people was terrible. According to one recent survey, his approval rating was 5% and only 6% of Venezuelans would vote for him as a candidate for president. All the time that was spent offering him up as the alternative and “legitimate” president of Venezuela was a waste, and now the opposition will be back more or less to square one with even less political capital and goodwill than they had before. It will take years to repair the damage done by being so openly aligned with the US economic war that has been waged against Venezuela, and that can’t really begin until the economic war is brought to an end.

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Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Facing the Failure of Our Cruel Venezuela Policy”

  1. Trump & Biden are very much alike on Venezuela. They both illegitimately recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader.
    Trump says Biden stole the 2020 Election and Biden says Putin meddled in US Affairs to get Trump in office. Trump meddled in foreign affairs and Biden currently meddles in foreign affairs.
    Trump may not have started wars but he is no peace time president. He tried to get Maduro overthrown and have him replaced with Guaido, scrapped the Iran Deal and sent a drone to kill Soleimani and rolled back trade and diplomatic ties with Cuba. Biden may have withdrawn troops from Afghanistan but he is no peace time president either. Biden continued the war in Syria and Iraq and provoked Putin into starting a war in Ukraine by expanding NATO closer and closer to Russia’s borders.

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