Recently, I was able to attend and report on the “Pressure, Sanctions, & Strategy” roundtable at Florida International University, organized by the Center for Security Policy (CSP). Now, however, you can do better than my news story. The Interamerican Institute for Democracy has placed videos of the entire event online.
While many liberty-minded people hold skepticism towards any impediments to trade and free movement, if you want to get to the heart of the affirmative argument in the case of Venezuela, watch this event. My recommendation is that you skip the introductory remarks and messages from politicians; go straight to the expert testimonies: Michael Rowan and Luis Fleischman together — authors associated with the CSP who specialize in Latin America — and then Russ Dallen of the Latin American Herald Tribune.
Finally, all the recent exiles weighed in, both in Spanish and English.
Not that I want to take a stand for or against these sanctions, but I should point out that those proposed are not against a nation. There appears to be a strong consensus, both among attendees at this event and the neoconservative-leaning CSP, that nationwide sanctions would hurt the residents of Venezuela immensely and not necessarily dislodge the Chavistas in power — which makes economic sense. Instead, the proposed policies might better be characterized as punitive measures on specific individuals.