Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to be in a bad way. Falling oil price had crushed the nation’s economy, and he was facing soaring inflation and chronic shortages.
Earlier this week, President Obama tried to cut out what’s left of Venezuela’s support by declaring them a “threat to national security,” with an eye on imposing a new round of economic sanctions.
For Maduro, the timing couldn’t be better, as it has brought the attention off the economy, and turned it instead onto foreign relations. It has given Maduro a new lease on life, railing against American “imperialism.”
While that doesn’t fix the economy, the imposing of US sanctions will give the government a convenient excuse, and an external enemy to rally their own supporters against.