U.S. Sanctions Could Be Harming Child Health In Venezuela, NYT Columnist Kristof Writes
New York Times: Venezuela’s Kids Are Dying. Are We Responsible?
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times opinion columnist
“[Venezuela] is a kleptocracy ruled incompetently by thugs who are turning a prosperous oil-exporting nation into a failed state sliding toward starvation. … President Nicolás Maduro’s brutal socialist government is primarily responsible for the suffering, and there are steps Maduro could take to save children’s lives, if he wanted to. But there is evidence that sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama and President Trump are adding to the economy’s deterioration and the torment of ordinary Venezuelans. … Venezuela may now be sliding toward collapse and mass starvation, while fragmenting into local control by various armed groups. Outbreaks of malaria, diphtheria, and measles are spreading, and infant mortality appears to have doubled since 2008. Maduro’s response is unconscionable. He buys the loyalty of military officials with money or resources that could go for medicine, he refuses to accept some foreign aid and he bars entry by important international humanitarian organizations. The best thing for the Venezuelan people would be a new government. But sanctions have failed to drive Maduro from power, inflicting anguish instead on vulnerable Venezuelans. … So let’s seek new ways to pressure the kleptocracy without adding to the suffering of ordinary Venezuelans. Maybe an oil-for-food program could help, along with greater efforts to force Maduro to allow more humanitarian aid. As we careen toward a humanitarian catastrophe in our hemisphere, let’s rethink our strategy” (11/23).