Venezuela: criticism of Maduro's re-election
Venezuela's president Nicolás Maduro has been re-elected in the midst of a major economic crisis. According to observers, however, the election was neither free nor fair. The opposition is refusing to recognise the results and the US has reacted with new sanctions. How should the international community respond to the situation in Venezuela?
Sanctions must be aimed at leadership
The pressure on the government in Caracas must be increased, writes Tjerk Brühwiller, Latin America correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
“Many governments in Europe and America have seen through the ploy of President Maduro and his entourage (some of whom are involved in serious crimes) and are refusing to recognise this sham vote. Now A must be followed by B in the form of further sanctions - not by cutting off aid for the country, but for the leadership of the Socialist Party, the state institutions and the army. They are living a life of luxury with the fortunes they have accumulated by whatever means while the people starve. If they are deprived of their privileges, nothing more will be left to hold the regime together.”
An alternative to Cuba and the Soviet Union
Upsala Nya Tidning looks back and notes that Europe already glorified Maduro's predecessor:
“Since Chavez came to power in Venezuela in 1998 the country has been held up as a sort of prime example in political debate in Sweden and other European countries. Chavez was like an alternative to the collapsed Soviet Union and decaying Cuba. Look here: a politician who challenges the US global order and channels profits back to the people. No wonder the people love him. But in Sweden now it's only the far left that fails to see that the socialist revolution is a complete washout and that the population in Venezuela is suffering because of this. At the same time people believe (as they did in Eastern Europe in the past) that the ideas were right in and of themselves but that Maduro has destroyed everything.”