Nicolás Maduro was an unlikely successor to Venezuela’s popular and charismatic Hugo Chávez. And, since his election, the country has been wracked with devastating food shortages, a breakdown of ordinary services and medical care, and rampant violence. But, as Maduro sees it, the real problem is his political opponents, and he has taken steps to secure control over all the branches of government, in order to establish a de-facto dictatorship. The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson was recently granted a rare interview with the Venezuelan President, who told him of his country’s economic relationships with Russia and China. Anderson tells Dorothy Wickenden that he came away from the conversation with a renewed sense of the need for greater American engagement in Venezuela. “It is going through the sewer on our watch,” Anderson says.
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