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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Venezuela, Sanctions and Their Limitations
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel gauges the outlook for regime change in Venezuela in the wake of the Trump administration's first economic sanction salvo.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

As the totalitarian and criminal Venezuelan regime closes its grip on its population, the U.S. imposed financial sanctions to the South American country.

This perhaps is the second time in recent hemispheric history that the US imposes sanctions. And while the world ponders what follow up activities can be undertaken to accompany the U.S. in its intentions to do away with a regime that increasingly is becoming a regional threat to democracy and security, many analysts seem to think that the Venezuelan regime will most probably dodge the impact.


Those subscribing to this line of thought ground their stand on the fact that the Venezuelan regime allegedly is taken over by organized crime. Consequently, it can access illicit financial networks that are disguised under an unending chain of shell companies registered in Bermuda, the Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, the Island of Man, San Marino, Luxembourg, and the British Virgin Islands.

These networks will provide the Venezuelan government with enough resources to cling to power through repression and extortion. Meanwhile the population -- which clearly is against the regime -- will be massively tortured by means of denying essential food and medicine to those that dare to express their dissent.

Accordingly, Venezuela will continue its march towards somalization posing a greater threat to hemispheric security in the near future. Inevitably the U.S. and the rest of the region will have to deploy military force to destroy what would seem to be the direct heir to the Star Wars rogue planet.

Yet another group of well-informed financial cum political experts believe the current set of sanctions will trigger enough international pressure over Venezuela for its regime to consider a negotiated solution. Such pressures would come from countries like Russia that has been using PDVSA as a business platform to escape sanctions.

As PDVSA increasingly becomes useless for this purpose, Russia could attempt a geopolitical swap with the U.S. Same reasoning would apply to Cuba's involvement in Venezuela. As Russia and Cuba pressure Venezuela, a negotiated end to the ongoing quagmire could stand a chance.


To my mind, current sanctions are simply an escalation of the conflict with Venezuela and a very savvy way to dry-up the spring of lubricating bribes that tie the current government of Venezuela to economic elites inside Venezuela and within the diaspora.

It is no secret that trade in Venezuelan bonds has become a very effective vehicle to launder money and to make those who collaborate with the regime immensely rich. Drying this fountain of sudden prosperity is a good approach towards destroying the operatives acting as proxies to the Venezuelan government in the financial system.

Current sanctions will be followed by more stringent measures which the Trump administration will uphold. And while inside the country people will continue to suffer disease and famine, sanctions coupled with other measures geared towards compromising governance in Venezuela could at the end perhaps liberate the embattled country.



Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.



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