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What the Crisis in Venezuela Reveals

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NEW YORK – The New York Times recently reported that US President Donald Trump’s administration had held meetings with rebellious Venezuelan military officers who were plotting to overthrow Nicolás Maduro’s government. In the end, US policymakers backed off the idea; but, not surprisingly, the reaction to the article was mostly negative.

Sep 24, 2018 Robert J. Shiller thinks investors have suspended their disbelief in the volatility of corporate profits.

To be sure, there are good reasons to oppose a US-supported coup in Venezuela. Many of those likely to be involved would have unsavory reputations, given their ties to the drug trade and their record of human-rights violations. A coup would almost certainly fail, giving an already repressive government a new justification to crack down on its opponents.

Another option would be an armed intervention led by Venezuela’s neighbors. They are adversely affected by the flow of refugees, which already numbers 2-4 million and is growing at a rate of 50,000-100,000 per month. If these countries took the lead, they would not have the political baggage of a US-led military operation.

But this scenario, too, can be ruled out, owing to the regional bias against military interventions and the fact that Venezuela’s neighbors lack the means to carry one out. Venezuela is roughly twice the size of Iraq, has as many as 100,000 armed........

© Project Syndicate