venezuela protestor Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Warum hat Trump Venezuelas Geld angenommen?

CAMBRIDGE – Die jüngste Nachricht, dass Venezuela über die staatseigene Ölgesellschaft Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) eine halbe Million Dollar für Donald Trumps Amtseinführung gespendet hat, entbehrt nicht einer gewissen Ironie. Venezuela ist schon mehrfach seinen Zahlungsverpflichtungen nicht nachgekommen, und zwar öfter als praktisch jedes andere Land während der letzten 200 Jahre.

Vor kurzem war Venezuelas despotische sozialistische Regierung so verzweifelt bestrebt, einen weiteren Zahlungsausfall zu vermeiden (es wäre der elfte seit der Unabhängigkeit des Landes gewesen), dass sie ihre Kronjuwelen – darunter das in den USA ansässige Raffinerie-Unternehmen Citgo – an die Russen und die Chinesen verpfändet hat. (Besonders berühmt ist die Marke Citgo in meiner Heimatstadt Boston, wo das ikonische Unternehmenslogo in der Nähe von Fenway Park, wo die Red Sox, das Baseballteam der Stadt, spielen, so etwas wie ein Wahrzeichen geworden ist.)

Es ist nicht ganz klar, warum der venezolanische Präsident Nicolás Maduro so verzweifelt versucht, den Zahlungsausfall für die Auslandsschulden seines Landes zu vermeiden, dass er – ähnlich dem rumänischen Diktator Nicolae Ceauşescu in den 1980er Jahren – seine Bevölkerung hungern lässt. Es kann angesichts der drastischen Knappheit an Lebensmitteln und grundlegenden Medikamenten wenig Zweifel geben, dass, wenn der Autokrat endlich abgesetzt wird, es einige schaurig vertraute Horrorstorys geben wird.

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