Approaching Implosion of Venezuela and Strategic Implications for the United States   [open pdf - 55KB]

"The U.S. response to the ever deepening political and economic crisis in Venezuela, and the regime's increasingly aggressive behavior toward its neighbors and the international community, is compelling evidence that the Barack Obama administration is sincere in respecting the sovereignty of nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, and allowing the region to address its own governance issues. While analysts in Washington, DC, and Latin America have long decried the involvement of Venezuelan officials in narcotrafficking, if assertions made by the highly credible 'Wall Street Journal' prove true regarding investigations by U.S. authorities into criminal activity by Venezuelan Parliamentary Speaker Diosdado Cabello, and other top Venezuelan political and military leaders, the scope of the problem that Venezuela represents for the region has reached a new low point. Although a very different situation in a very different time, it was the 1988 indictment of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega on drug charges by grand juries in Miami and Tampa, FL, that paved the way for the U.S. invasion of Panama the following year. In the current era of U.S. respect for the sovereignty of the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, with a very different set of considerations and strategic context, Venezuela's leadership will not come to the same end as that of Panama, holed up in a foreign diplomatic compound in Caracas while the 4th Psychological Operations Group blares rock music into their place of refuge and U.S. Special Envoy Tom Shannon negotiates their surrender. Yet, the situation is no less grave."

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