Tuesday, March 29, 2016

U.S. – Venezuela Relations Need a Reset

Brittney Warrick, iar-gwu.org

image (not from article) from

The United States’ sanctions against Venezuela hurt its relations with South American countries. It is time for politicians in Washington, D.C., to shift away from strong-arm policies in Latin America.


Tensions are now higher than ever between the United States and Venezuela. Washington, D.C., hosts no ambassador. Caracas hosts no ambassador. The relationship between the two countries is near the breaking point, but there is a way off the precipice. U.S. sanctions must be rescinded, and efforts must be made to improve U.S.-Venezuelan relations. Foreign policy in the Americas should be dictated by dialogue and engagement, not unilateral action.

Continued sanctions undermine U.S. public diplomacy in Latin America. Regional leaders condemned President Obama’s sanctions almost immediately after they were issued in March 2015. Indeed, all 33 members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) unanimously rejected the sanctions last year. With the extension of U.S. sanctions, further statements of disapproval will follow. The current policy of the United States creates unnecessary controversy, alienating partners in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. ...

The United States should begin to restore relations with Venezuela immediately. ...

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