|Venezuelan Pres. Nicolas Maduro has become increasingly dictatorial.|
And for good reason: After all, you've invented obstacles to block a recall referendum to which your Constitution gives citizens a right.
And you've used the Supreme Court - which you recently packed with your supporters - to annul every law issued by the opposition-dominated Parliament.
And you've even suspended regional elections, which your government would be sure to lose.
Not satisfied with all of that, you've shut down and banned critical media.
So, it's perfectly understandable, if still unjustifiable, that Venezuelan Pres. Nicolas Maduro intends to withdraw his nation from the Organization of American States (OAS), whose leader has strongly criticized Maduro's trampling of democratic institutions.
|Besides his authoritarianism, Maduro has been an |
The Venezuelan government's flight from well-founded criticism marks the sad end of one of Latin America's oldest democracies. And Venezuela's descent into authoritarianism and violent repression of government opponents creates many potential problems for Colombia, beginning with the economic and political refugees now flooding across the border.
Authoritarian states are more likely than democracies to enter violent confrontations, and Colombia and Venezuela have a history of tensions, over territory, smuggling, migration and the activities of illegal organizations.
And the situation is worsened by Venezuela's economic tailspin, which could drive Maduro to seek a scapegoat - who could be Colombia.
Unfortunately, Venezuela's pending withdrawal from the OAS will only confirm its path toward dictatorship.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours