Venezuelan crisis: Latin America wants U.S. leadership

Along with President Trump’s ‘America first’ policy, he is poised to take the U.S. to being a vocal global leader.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, The Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox News contributor, says this is what many members of the United Nations want, telling the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney: “What members of the U.N., many of the members, are looking for is U.S. leadership. This idea that the U.S. is sort of just going to hang back and go with everybody, it didn’t work, it was a disaster with President Obama and so they’re looking for leadership.”

O’Grady says the mounting political crisis in Venezuela under Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime is leading other Latin American countries to come together to address the issue.

“The Venezuelan situation has actually brought people together in Latin America, not everybody, okay the Cubans are not going to be happy, the Castros. But you have, on the South American continent, a lot of countries that are very worried about what they see in Venezuela.”

According to O’Grady, despite the comparisons to the Castro regime in Cuba, Maduro was perceived to be a greater threat to the region.

“For six decades you had the Cubans sort of, you know, committing every human rights violation you could imagine and yet, somehow, morally nobody ever called them out. Now you see the same situation in Venezuela and it’s almost like these other countries are thinking, ‘if something is not done about this guy, we’re gonna be the next thing he eats for dinner.’”

That threat is causing Latin American governments to call for U.S. leadership on the issue.

“They want the U.S. help and they’re coming together,” O’Grady said on ‘Varney & Co.’

Though O’Grady agreed with Varney that U.S. leadership was needed, both at the U.N. and in dealing with the Venezuelan crisis in particular, she pointed out a potential issue at the State Department, telling Varney, “He doesn’t have an Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere and Rex Tillerson is using very much the career guy at the State Department to shape policy there and it’s, in my opinion, been too conciliatory, too much about dialogue and not enough about taking the toughest stances we could in order to force Venezuela to return to democracy.”