Venezuela will plumb new depths of political and economic uncertainty in
the coming weeks and months. It was not supposed to be like this. The
international conference on democracy in Venezuela, hosted by Peru on 6
August, was conceived as a meeting place for external actors with diametrically
opposed views to reach a consensus over how to resolve the oil-rich
nation’s political and economic crisis. In the event, representatives of
governments supportive of the de facto president Nicolás Maduro opted
against attending and the conference was dominated by the announcement
of sweeping new sanctions by the US whose National Security Advisor,
John Bolton, said “the time for dialogue is over, now is the time for action”.
Maduro promptly announced his government’s withdrawal from talks
with the opposition which have been taking place in Barbados.