On Thursday evening, the largest blackout in Venezuela’s recent history began, and it continues to leave the vast majority of the country in the dark. This serves as the latest punctuating event in a long-term humanitarian crisis that has recently included the detainment of American journalist Jorge Ramos when he tried to show notoriously-glutted President Nicolás Maduro a video of Venezuelans picking through garbage for food, the failure of international humanitarian aid to enter the country due to blockage by the military and National Assembly President Juan Guaidó’s declaration of himself as the legitimate president. The true victims of this government-denied crisis are the Venezuelan people. And yet, in a U.S. context, discussion of this crisis has had a collateral casualty: history. On both the left and right of the political spectrum, actors have misrepresented the past to further their present aims.
On the left, a prime example comes from one of my fellow columnists, who last month described why the U.S. has no reason to be involved in Venezuela, citing the U.S.’s own flaws as a democracy and its history of intervention in Latin America.