Venezuela's next move toward becoming a dysfunctional hermit kingdom

The death toll in the Venezuelan protests has now nearly reached 30, as disenfranchised and starving citizens attempt to battle the well armed militias of President Nicolas Maduro. This is only one of the typical hallmarks of how socialism always eventually ends, but their dictator decided yesterday to follow yet another step in the playbook of tyrants who came before him. Following a meeting in Washington of the Organization of American States (OAS) where steps were discussed to get the humanitarian situation there under control, Venezuela promptly announced that they would be quitting the team. (Time Magazine)

Venezuela’s government announced Wednesday it will go ahead with its threatened withdrawal from the Organization of American States, the regional body whose leader has been one of the fiercest critics of embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro…

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez called for the OAS withdrawal after a brief but contentious meeting at the group’s Washington headquarters in which its permanent council voted in favor of holding a special session to evaluate Venezuela’s crisis, adding to mounting international pressure for Maduro to schedule delayed elections and free detained political activists.

Rodriguez said the OAS’s action was taken to “intervene and take custody of our country, something that fortunately will never happen.”

This is the unfortunate result of a plan which was actually first suggested by the Washington Post over a month ago, and it really wasn’t a bad idea. Appealing to Maduro’s better angels clearly wasn’t working (since he doesn’t seem to have any) and direct, external intervention isn’t a very tasty option. With that in mind, it still seemed at least possible that the OAS could apply some pressure to Maduro because the various trade deals and partnerships represented by that organization have implications for substantial sources of funding for the Venezuelan government. Since they are essentially in a state of collapse at the moment and their currency is likely worth more as toilet paper than any buying power it retains, they need every cent they can lay their hands on.

Unfortunately, even that reality has failed to sink in for Maduro. But this move is typical of tinpot dictators throughout history. Rather than making peace with his own people and being welcomed back into the community, the President had his Foreign Minister paint the organization as some sort of external threat looking to take over the country and chose the path of isolation. In the past two years, Maduro has made one enemy after another in the West while attempting to cozy up to a list of leaders from countries including Turkey, Iran, Russia and North Korea. He clearly would like to be welcomed into that club and some of those dubious actors might be interested in reciprocating if only because of the vast oil reserves Venezuela still sits on but is unable to process.

With the OAS gambit having seemingly failed it’s difficult to see any other viable hope for the people of Venezuela. The only sure bet is that things there are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. Watch and learn, kids, though I’ve said it here before dozens upon dozens of times. This is how socialism always ends.