Venezuela was elected Thursday to a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council, overcoming long-standing U.S. opposition to its membership on the world body's premier security panel and setting the stage for a potential clash over issues ranging from Syria to Ukraine.
Last week, a shootout took place between Venezuelan police and a government-sponsored paramilitary gang known as a "colectivo." The colectivos even managed to kidnap several police officers and held them for several hours until the police stormed the hostage-takers. When the smoke finally cleared, five people were dead. A number of others were wounded.
When the late Hugo Chávez came to the United Nations, it was usually a media event. Journalists would swarm around him looking for a juicy quote, and he frequently obliged. The apex of Chávez's performances at the global forum came in 2006, when he called George W. Bush
The plummeting Venezuelan currency breached a new, symbolic low of 100 bolívares per dollar on the black market Friday, according to market-tracking websites, in a sign of the worsening greenback shortage faced by President Nicolás Maduro's government.
When the Venezuelan government defends itself from its critics, it usually points to declining poverty rates as proof of its success. For a while, this worked; poverty figures indeed improved during a portion of the chavista years. But the days when poverty was a winning issue for chavismo are over. Official statistics now show that poverty is rising rapidly.
The Inter-American Dialogue is the premier center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs. The Dialogue engages public and private leaders from across the Americas in efforts to develop and mobilize support for cooperative responses to key hemispheric problems and opportunities.
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