Today, the world looks on as the Venezuelan dream becomes a nightmare under the murderous regime of President Nicolás Maduro. A mix of incompetence and stupidity has brought everything crashing down, and a new wave of violence in response to largely peaceful protests has brought the country to the brink of civil war.
PARIS – Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, was once one of Latin America’s most prosperous countries. Though it was hardly a paragon of democracy, it did make strides toward building solid institutions.
Then, in 1999, the former tank commander Hugo Chávez came to power. And before his death in 2013, he selected his successor: Nicolás Maduro, a sorry, bloodthirsty Chávez clone, who assumed the presidency after a bogus election, and has ruled the country ever since.
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