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Mac Margolis

Venezuela Needs a Better Endgame

Time to bring in the International Criminal Court.

What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Photographer: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Spare a thought for the fate of Nicolas Maduro, the besieged Venezuelan president who presides over a cratering economy, a self-made humanitarian disaster and a hemisphere that’s turned its back on him. His foreign minister stepped up to plead Venezuela’s case at the United Nations last week and emptied the room. So where does the failing Bolivarian autocrat go from here?

Maduro isn’t done, of course. He’s kept his footing through nationwide protest and social upheaval, and finessed last month’s border lockdown with a despot’s brio. It takes a special kind of hubris to salsa while your National Guard fires tear gas at demonstrators and lets trucks laden with food for starving compatriots go up in smoke. Such ruthless survivalism has earned him comparisons to embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Yet strongmen also fall, and that prospect brings on other problems, not least for the countries they leave behind.