Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, January 07, 2018

Harvard University Professor Ricardo Hausmann has a plan to halt Venezuela's free-fall into an economic and humanitarian crisis for the ages, and it requires help from foreign militaries. Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly should use its constitutional power to impeach President Nicolas Maduro and Vice President Tareck El Aissami, and then usher in a new government to be run -- at least temporarily -- by the assembly's leader, Hausmann said in a column published Tuesday by Project Syndicate. To ensure a democratic transition, the nation will need assistance from foreign military forces, said the country's former planning minister, who now runs Harvard's Center for International Development.

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"Solutions have to be proportional or respondent to the reality on the ground, and the reality on the ground is beyond belief," Hausmann said in a followup interview from Miami. "That's the context in which we should be having this discussion. It's in the context of a country that is falling apart, a country that is dying. People are dying in droves."

Venezuela is in a deep depression, with gross domestic product contracting for four years in a row, according to analysts' estimates. Years of government interference in the economy and the 2014 crash in the price of crude -- the mainstay of the Venezuelan economy -- have left the country battered by quadruple-digit inflation and a shortage of affordable food and medicine. The U.S. government imposed sanctions against officials in Maduro's administration last year after what it said was a government power grab.

The once-prosperous nation is plagued by a plunge in imports that has left Venezuelans shedding weight or literally starving. An investigation by the New York Times found a surge in child malnutrition, with doctors interviewed reporting some 2,800 cases last year, including almost 400 deaths. Per Hausmann's estimates, a kilo of pork now costs 85 hours of labor at the minimum wage, 20 times the price in Colombia.

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When I first read the article's title in a newsletter, I fully expected it to be a typical NeoCon OpEd published in WaPo, but lo-and-behold it was penned by Venezuela's own former planning minister, who now runs Harvard's Center for International Development.

#1 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-01-07 10:37 PM | Reply

With the suffering in Venezuela growing and because the author of that op-ed wants to use democratic principles and institution to bring down a dictator, I'm not so sure I disagree but he named a list of nation who would be needed to all agree to work together and intimidate the Venezuelan military into compliance which, if they did, I think they could succeed. Over the weekend I learned that Venezuela holds the largest amount of oil in the world, exceeding Saudi Arabia and Russia. There is no reason for a nation with such tremendous resources to live in abject poverty. Their experiment with Socialism was doomed because the technocrats fled the nation and are largely living here in S. Florida today. Without their expertise the country cannot recover and they won't return under a dictatorship.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-08 08:29 AM | Reply

Venezuela's oil sucks. It's full of sulphur and nasties and not everyone can refine it.

#3 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2018-01-08 02:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

For once let the indigenous people elect the govt they want.

HAnds off.

I know this will fall on deaf white ears.

#4 | Posted by fresno500 at 2018-01-09 04:17 PM | Reply

"For once let the indigenous people elect the govt they want."

Agreed. Nevertheless when reading the article I was fascinated by how a former Venezuelan "insider" was calling for foreign militaries to invade or otherwise put pressure on the reigning establishment.

#5 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-01-09 06:16 PM | Reply

The only LASTING outcome is to let them to it themselves with all the trouble and false starts.

#6 | Posted by fresno500 at 2018-01-09 08:06 PM | Reply

If a people desire to be free, let them take up arms. Jefferson. We should not lift a finger or give a cent to any party which will take over that government. To do so will put a pail upon the legitimacy of who ever has victory. On the same track, we should not allow any country to do the same.

#7 | Posted by docnjo at 2018-01-10 12:45 PM | Reply

"If a people desire to be free, let them take up arms. Jefferson"

That's not how the slaves got their freedom. Lincoln.

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 12:51 PM | Reply

#8 | Posted by snoofy, That would be news to about 200,000 black men that did. White men fought for Union, black men fought for their liberation.

#9 | Posted by docnjo at 2018-01-10 12:59 PM | Reply

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