Monday Jan 09, 2023
Venezuela: A Riches to Rags Story
Not that long ago, Venezuela was among the freest and richest nations in Latin America. But in 1999, Hugo Chavez became president and introduced his brand of socialism known as Chavism. Venezuela’s liberties and prosperity were quickly eroded.
Chavez died in 2013. Under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, who had been his right-hand man, Venezuela has continued to decline.
In 2019, the U.S. supported an alternative “interim government” headed by Juan Guaido. At one point, Guaido was recognized by dozens of countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president. But last month, members of Venezuela’s opposition parties voted to remove Guaido and dissolve the interim government.
Elliott Abrams served on the staffs of Senators Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He was an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration, senior director of the National Security Council for democracy, human rights, and international organizations in the George W. Bush administration, and – in the Trump administration – served as Special Representative for Venezuela.
He’s currently senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of the Vandenberg Coalition.
He joins host Cliff May to discuss Venezuela.
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