Latin America’s Ukraine

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.

MEXICO CITY – By all indications, the international community has resigned itself to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Crimean “land grab,” as US Vice-President Joe Biden has called it. Once Putin decided he wanted to assume the consequences of his acts, there was very little the United States, the European Union, or the United Nations could do.

Latin America, meanwhile, is experiencing the opposite problem. Though the region’s countries have the means to stop the growing political, economic, and human-rights catastrophe in Venezuela, they lack the will, while the rest of the world’s attention to Ukraine has removed any pressure on them to act.

In Ukraine, the US and the EU seem to have decided on a sensible course of action – or, rather, on a realistic two-track response – that is unlikely to produce spectacular results, but is certainly preferable to passivity.

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