U.S. Sanctions On Venezuela Risk Contributing To Potential Famine

New York Times: Trump Doesn’t Have Time for Starving Venezuelans
Francisco Rodríguez, chief economist at Torino Economics, former head of research at the United Nations’ Human Development Report Office, and former head of Venezuela’s Congressional Budget Office

“Over the past two years, Washington has imposed increasingly punitive economic sanctions on Venezuela. … The sanctions were designed to choke off revenues to the regime of Nicolás Maduro. Its architects claimed they would not generate suffering for Venezuelans. The reasoning was that Mr. Maduro would quickly back down, or the military would force him out before the sanctions could begin to have an effect. That was wrong. … Given that most of the population is already living at near-starvation levels and that the country depends on imports to feed itself, further cuts in foreign purchases risk producing the first Latin American famine in over a century. The risks of famine — and what needs to be done to stop it — are lost in the conversation among Washington policymakers and the Venezuelan opposition. … How to stop hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from starving to death this year should be front and center of the international community’s debate on how to help Venezuela. … The reality of sanctions is not that simple. Ignoring the suffering they’re causing is not going to bring democracy to Venezuela. What it will do is make Venezuelans poorer and their plight more desperate. Famines do not topple dictatorships. They only lead to loss of lives” (7/10).

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