The United States Can’t Go It Alone in VenezuelaJul 3 2017
Woody Allen famously said “showing up is 80 percent of life.” The same might be said for diplomacy, but last week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to skip the annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Cancun, Mexico, dispatching his deputy instead.
At the meeting, the United States and like-minded nations failed in an attempt to call out Venezuela’s accelerating descent into chaos and autocracy. The resolution fell short by three votes, blocked by Venezuela’s ideological allies in South American and by small nations in the Caribbean and Central America, many of them longtime beneficiaries of Venezuelan oil largesse. As a former oil executive who had previously done business in Venezuela, Tillerson presumably understands how President Nicolás Maduro has used his country’s resources as economic leverage over his neighbors.