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Sunday, April 21

Washington Post Democracy in Venezuela, Unsettling as Ever: "The Latin governments, through the OAS, should now take advantage of their unprecedented authority and legitimacy on the democracy question and engage constructively with the Chavez government to help advance reconciliation in Venezuela. This role, after all, is also essential to the spirit of the democratic charter. With Venezuela still so unsettled and sharply polarized, the OAS has an excellent opportunity to try to foster what is widely known throughout the region as concertacion, or building consensus among disparate political forces. The best way for the Bush administration to recover from this embarrassing episode and regain its credibility is to take an active part in supporting such an effort. President Bush himself should consult with his colleagues in the region and urge joint action through available mechanisms to help Venezuela heal itself." Another member of the Inter-American Dialogue, Mike Shifter, examines the Venezuelan crisis. In the print version, there is a useful timeline of recent Venezuelan political history. Let it be known that I work at the OAS.

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