Executive Order on Venezuela: WOLA’s Response

WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde Offers His Take on Targeted Sanctions

(Note: this post is adapted from a letter to the press. For the original, please visit: WOLA.org)

Today, President Obama released an Executive Order implementing and expanding targeted U.S. sanctions on seven Venezuelan individuals. WOLA’s Senior Fellow David Smilde is currently on the ground in Caracas, and issued the following quote in response to the announcement. Please feel free to use any parts of his quote in your reporting. 

From Professor Smilde:

“The way to address the difficult human rights situation in Venezuela is through constructive multilateral efforts by allies in the region who are better positioned to engage the country. Unilateral U.S. sanctions, even targeted ones, will be counterproductive, especially when couched in the language of a ‘national emergency.’ These measures will only help Nicolas Maduro portray his country’s crisis as the result of a confrontation between Venezuela and the United States rather than a result of his failed policies.”

 
For more information on these ongoing regional efforts, please see this March 4 letter addressed to an UNASUR delegation that traveled to Venezuela over the weekend to address the situation there.