Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Symbolic Unilateral Sanctions in Venezuela

2 days since the constituent assembly vote.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Nicolás Maduro himself, which puts him on a list of people who are given symbolic sanctions yet remain in power. Maduro responded by referring to Trump's popular vote loss, which is actually something that might get the president's attention. Meanwhile, Canada condemned the vote but is not pursuing sanctions. That's true of a number of countries in the hemisphere.

And that's really the problem. Unilateral sanctions aren't going to do much but no one has the stomach to act multilaterally--not just for sanctions but for anything.  Back in March I argued that Latin America would not unite and so far it hasn't. Inaction is Maduro's biggest ally right now. The Trump administration can bully and bluster but at best that has little impact and at worse entrenches the Chavista core and makes other Latin American countries more hesitant to jump on board.


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