FROM Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez
Are Venezuela's troubles the legacy of populism? Twenty years ago, the late Hugo Chavez promised to save democracy in Venezuela. Today, Venezuela is moving toward a dictatorship, with the opposition divided against authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro. Late last year there were massive street protests, and this weekend the Supreme Court stripped the legislature of its power. When the rest of the world took notice, that ruling was mostly reversed -- but economic depression continues, and the government refuses food or medical aid. We hear what life is like in the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves -- and hear a debate about how it got that way.
Chronic Food Shortages Prompt Riots in Venezuela Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis has spilled over into chaos in recent weeks. Hungry protestors have been rioting, ransacking and looting stores and restaurants, leaving scores of businesses in shambles and at least five people dead. The government has declared a state of emergency, and basic necessities are being rationed. How did a relatively recently prosperous country which sits on the world’s largest oil reserves come to this -- the world’s worst rate of inflation and nearly 90% of its population unable to afford to eat?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.