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Trump made the right call on Venezuela. So what if he’s a hypocrite?

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President Trump has launched a new push for democracy in Venezuela, and, for once, he enjoys support from governments in Europe and Latin America. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada — who’s hardly a Trump acolyte — and even a significant number of Democratic lawmakers in Congress are also on board.

In the United States, criticism so far has come mainly from progressives such as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who tweeted: “The US is sanctioning Venezuela for their lack of democracy but not Saudi Arabia? Such hypocrisy.” “If Trump and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are so worried about human rights and democracy in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) chimed in, “why do they actively support horrible regimes in Brazil, Guatemala, and Honduras?”

This sort of left-wing whataboutism was probably inevitable, but, well, what about it? Does hypocrisy disqualify Trump’s policy? Or is there a principled basis for selective concern about Venezuela?

The answer begins with the sheer magnitude of the suffering and chaos in that South American country, which far exceed the suffering and chaos in all but a few of the world’s failed states.

Venezuela’s formerly prosperous oil-based economy has collapsed, with inflation running at an unfathomable 1.3 million percent and eight of 10 Venezuelans surveyed reporting that they do not have enough food at home.

The homicide rate is 58 per 100,000, one of the........

© Washington Post