Faced with an exodus of biblical proportions, with millions of Venezuelans fleeing their country as a result of the social, economic, political and existential cataclysm wrought by el chavismo and the Maduro dictatorship, propped up by Cuba, the governments of Latin America have thus far sought to mitigate the effects of this humanitarian crisis, but they are not helping Venezuela to address what is behind it; that is, they are struggling with the branches, but not the root.
Fourteen countries met in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where government representatives made good proposals on how to provide assistance to Venezuelan migrants, but did not take concrete measures against the regime of Nicolás Maduro. They said nothing of isolating him diplomatically, or of demanding that he and his henchmen step down. They did ask him to accept humanitarian aid to stem the tide of emigrants from the country.
Though Latin America's wave of populist governments – totalling 13 in 2011 – has subsided, and the region is now predominantly ruled by liberal democrats, why is no one acting against the chavista tyranny, or that in Nicaragua, or that in Cuba, as was done against Pinochet, who suffered concerted international isolation?
Only five populist or communist governments remain in the region: Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela, El Salvador and Cuba, with 46 million inhabitants, just 7% of the region's 635 million.
Why do the remaining governments not even mention the Cuban regime, the main leftist autocracy in this part of the world? Cuban intelligence and military counterintelligence in Venezuela are what are averting the necessary military uprising against Maduro. Without Castro's military and political intervention in Venezuela, Maduro and his narco-government would have been overthrown already. And there would be no humanitarian crisis. Are Latin America's leaders so naive that they do not realize this?
Kid gloves with the radical left in Cuba and Venezuela
As I have stated on previous occasions, in my view this regional passivity is due to two factors: 1) governments' fear of radical left parties' and organizations’ mobilizing power, largely driven by Castroism, whose destabilizing arm operates throughout Latin America with the enthusiastic support of local activists; and 2) presidents and political leaders, far from confronting the extremist left, prefer to appease it so that they it does not mobilize, which could cost them votes come election time.