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PostVenezuela Postscript: Hausmann Calls for Military Intervention (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 01/04/18 3:53 pm)
As a complement to the post I sent about Venezuela (3 January), this essay by R. Hausmann I just received is worth reading for another perspective.
JE comments: Economist Ricardo Hausmann prescribes the strongest medicine imaginable: a call for the Venezuelan opposition to impeach Maduro and invite an international military coalition "of the willing" to remove him. Wouldn't this mean civil war? Hausmann defends his appeal by labeling the current tragedy in Venezuela a man-made famine, along the lines of Stalin's intentional starving of the Ukrainians during the Holodomor. He pulls another analogy from his toolbox by comparing the liberation of Venezuela to that of France and the Netherlands in WWII.
Critics might point out that Hausmann (a former government minister in Venezuela) is making his plea from the comfort of Harvard. Others see no peaceful alternative to an ever-worsening economic and political situation. (José Ignacio Soler showed us how bad things are in his excellent WAIS post of January 3rd.)
What country would possibly want to intervene in Venezuela? Hausmann may be a good economist, but he's a questionable historian: Bolívar indeed liberated Venezuela from a base in neighboring Colombia, but he (Bolívar) was a native son, born in Caracas. Any foreign invasion would immediately bolster Maduro as the defender of national sovereignty. In Cuba, which taught Chávez/Maduro many tricks, you cannot walk five blocks without seeing the public slogan "Patria o Muerte" (homeland or death). Precisely.