Profs and Pints presents: “Whither Venezuela?” with Fulton Armstrong, research fellow at American University’s center for Latin American studies and former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America and adviser to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Compared to Russia, China, and a handful of other headliners, Venezuela does not represent a major threat to U.S. interests. So how did that country’s years-long internal crises lead to a major push by Washington for “regime change”? And what are the implications of this policy for the United States, and for the other countries in Latin America and Europe that have supported this stance? Will we end up “owning” this dysfunctional country? Do we have a better idea of how to run it?
The answers to these questions reveal as much about us as they do about Venezuela.
For Venezuelans, it’s pretty simple: The fact that they sit on the world’s largest oil reserves is both a blessing and a curse, and they tend to think it gives them latitude to be irresponsible in politics and in how they manage their economy.
For the United States, the situation is more complicated. Even though both President Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro continued to supply us with all the oil we needed, three U.S. Administrations running – George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump – have made regime change in Venezuela a priority. Washington has now put its money on National Assembly President Juan Guaidó and his mentor, Leopoldo López, whose militancy against Maduro has been legion but whose political vision and agenda are less well known.
What’s going on here? Is this a policy of “anyone but Maduro,” and are we prepared to accept the consequences?
Get a firm grasp of the situation with Fulton Armstrong, who spent 30 years following Latin American affairs in various government positions, and continues to stay on top of the situation in Venezuela today. (Listed times are for doors. Talk begins 30 minutes later. Please give yourself plenty of time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Advance tickets available at https://profspintsvenezuela.brownpapertickets.com