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Students For Liberty’s Wolf von Laer and Jorge Jraissati wrote about the Venezuelan crisis for Foreign Policy, taking into account the complex geopolitical challenges of the situation. Their focus was on the strategy that the international community should adopt in order to help Venezuela become a prosperous and democratic country once again.

In 2017, amid Venezuela’s most significant wave of protests, the Trump administration launched an aggressive policy of sanctions in the hope that this would strangle the ruling regime and bring about a political transition. However, after four years, the Maduro regime now appears to have strengthened its grip on power. If we don’t want 2022 to be another lost year for the Venezuelan people, a new strategy is needed.

Below, some of our students and staff share their thoughts on the matter.

Michelle Bernier, SFL Coordinator in Venezuela:

“As Wolf and Jorge said in their article at Foreign Policy, Biden has a choice to make: continue with the strategy of the last years (which has not worked) or use the sanctions as a means to negotiate or initiate other more effective actions.”

“As Jorge and Wolf mention, the problem with the actions that the international community has taken so far, in general, is that they have not taken into account the effect of their actions. For this reason, every time a decision is made it is important to think about “and then what?” Because if not, we will continue repeating the mistakes of the past and the crisis in Venezuela will continue.”

Esteban Hernandez, Venezuelan coordinator and founder of media outlet ContraPoder 3.0:

“The United States’ foreign policy towards Venezuela has been a disaster, regardless of the administration. It is time to listen to other political actors”

Andres Guilarte, SFL Research Associate and alumnus:

“During the last four years, Venezuela has increasingly entered the realm of countries with direct ties to illicit and illegal activities, human rights abuses and one-party ruling that completely suppresses freedom and democracy.”

“Sanctions haven proven effective until Maduro learned how to beat them. The US needs to reformulate many of the sanctions, impose different ones and gather a world coalition of countries that aim to isolate the Maduro regime, instead of allowing it to keep morphing into new dark horizons.”

Jorge Jraissati, Director of Alumni Programs, Students For Liberty:

“The Venezuelan crisis illustrates that the U.S. has to reevaluate the effectiveness of its geopolitical and geoeconomic tools against rogue states like Venezuela.”

Wolf von Laer, CEO of Students For Liberty:

“At Foreign Policy, Jorge and I analyzed the international community’s approach to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. We explained the different mechanisms that the Venezuelan regime is using to overcome the international pressure, and proceeded to propose an alternative route.”

To read the article published on Foreign Policy, you can click on the button below.


This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, send your piece to [email protected], and mention SFL Blog in the email subject line for your chance to be published and be seen!

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