It’s unclear whether President Nicolas Maduro is bursting out of his shirt because of his robust diet—which he likes to brag about—or out of pride for defying the regional community this week. One day after hearing the growing regional alarm over the state of democracy in Venezuela and the humanitarian crisis in the country, the Venezuelan Supreme Court shut down the democratically elected National Assembly. For anyone still delusional enough to believe there was still some democratic ray of hope in Venezuela (though was anyone left?) Wednesday night’s judicial coup should have ended that. You only needed to listen to Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and Deputy Foreign Minister Samuel Moncado’s vein-popping tirades and ad hominem attacks on the floor of the OAS to realize where this was going. Hidden within the cynicism and propaganda of their stem-winders was a larger, more important message: this is a government that doesn’t care a wick about popular sovereignty or about the plight of its own people—and by extension international norms to defend those principles. For a Venezuelan government packed with criminals who will likely face justice in a democratic transition, that may be understandable. The question then is what the other 14 governments that didn’t sign on to the letter criticizing the democratic conditions in Venezuela were thinking. For some—Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic—we have some idea. But the others?
Cartoon credit: Arcadio Esquivel, Costa Rica, Caglecartoons.com