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Mac Margolis

Why Venezuela's Neighbors Keep Quiet

If Maduro's critics think he's wrong, why don't they say something?
Silencio is golden.

Silencio is golden.

Photographer: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

For anyone following Venezuela's slow-motion crackup, U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement of targeted sanctions is proof that what's bad can always get worse. Citing the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela," the White House declared a "National Emergency" and blocked the U.S. "property and interests in property" of several higher-ups in the so-called Bolivarian Republic for alleged acts of corruption, violence, human rights violations or to "undermine democracy."

The targeting of Venezuelan officials stands in blunt contrast to the tiptoe diplomacy that the rest of Latin America has always deployed in its dealings with the rogue Andean neighbor. Take the March 6 emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Caracas by the Union of South American Nations.