In one of the most striking recent examples of Latin American unity, an emergency meeting held in Peru this week over how to handle Venezuela’s pressing political crisis drew 17 countries that denounced a “breakdown” of democracy.
Foreign ministers flew to Lima from every corner of the Western Hemisphere — except the U.S.
It wasn’t because the region had aligned itself against Washington. For once, Latin America’s biggest players came together to make the rarest of admissions: When it comes to Venezuela, they agree with President Donald Trump. At least for now.
“What we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna said Wednesday, speaking for the regional allies and echoing the White House’s same use of the D-word a week earlier.
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and especially Mexico don’t see eye-to-eye with Trump on a string of issues — including cracking down on immigration and taking a harder line on Cuba.
But with most of Washington focused on the North Korean nuclear threat, Russian election-meddling investigation and ongoing internal White House intrigue, Trump’s administration has steadily gained allies on Venezuela, the one urgent foreign-policy matter that hasn’t triggered frenzied cable-news debates and prompted Trump to vent on Twitter.
Behind the unusual display of regional unity is opposition to the all-powerful legislative body inaugurated last week by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The White House branded Venezuela a dictatorship — and other countries followed.
Photo credit: Martin Mejía, Associated Press