What Is Happening in Venezuela?

Source: The Nation

Coups and countercoups. Crackdowns. Economic crackups. Seven cents for a tube of toothpaste and $755 for a box of condoms. As a result of the latter, Bloomberg says, “Venezuela has one of South America’s highest rates of HIV infection” (disturbing, and, Bloomberg didn’t mention, exactly the same rate of HIV infection as in the United States). Falling oil prices. The arrest of an opposition leader. Washington plots. Human Rights Watch tweets. South America rallies.

What is going on in Venezuela? I have no idea. I’ve been too busy trying to track down the cameraman who accompanied Bill O’Reilly to El Salvador, where he didn’t report on the El Mozote massacre. So I asked a trusted panel of experts. Here’s what they say.

Above all, Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of history at Pomona and author of The Enduring Legacy, a history of the Venezuelan oil industry, insists we have to keep perspective. Mexico, where the bodies pile high and the country is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportion, gets a “free pass” by the United States. Not so much Venezuela (where things might be bad but not 83,000-corpses bad).

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