Maduro’s Useful Idiots
Much of the left in Europe and the US continues to subscribe to a Cold War worldview, in which virtually any domestic revolution stands in direct opposition to the ultimate enemy: Western imperialism. When it comes to Venezuela, that stance effectively advances the interests of multiple dictatorships.
LOS ANGELES – In his 1982 Nobel lecture, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez condemned the West’s insistence on “measuring us with the yardstick that they use for themselves” and “forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all.” That is, in a sense, what the West’s progressive left is doing when, caught up in an outdated narrative about Latin American revolutions, it fails to recognize the associated devastation.
It is because of this failure that, until fairly recently, the most heinous – and long-lasting – insurgency in Latin America’s history, waged by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), had advocates in the European parliament. Now, the story is repeating itself, with many Western leftists rejecting any international effort to push back against President Nicolás Maduro’s disastrous leadership.
The scale of the disaster should not be underestimated. Severe food and medication shortages are the new normal. The International Monetary Fund estimates that inflation will reach ten million percent this year. The result is a desperate people, 10% of whom have already fled the country. Among those who remain, 90% live below the poverty line.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in