My second question is addressed to the international community, which has at least two reasons to take an interest in Venezuela’s plight. The first is the “responsibility to protect,” as spelled out in the Charter of the United Nations. UN member states should uphold this principle by sending a strong signal to Maduro’s government to end the current violence.
To that end, the Security Council needs to muster the courage to issue a clear statement of condemnation against the regime. Venezuelan opposition leaders who still enjoy freedom of movement in Paris, Madrid, and Washington, DC, should be extended official welcomes. French, Spanish, and American foreign ministries should express their solidarity with the Venezuelan legislature, which Maduro’s coup by constituent assembly threatens to dissolve. And, of course, the toothless warnings from Mercosur and U.S. President Donald Trump’s timid saber-rattling should be replaced with stronger economic and financial sanctions.