Stories by Christopher Sabatini

Expert Voices

Global response to Venezuelan refugee crisis falling short

Venezuelan migrants lined up with their bags
Venezuelan migrants waiting to apply for refugee status at a Peruvian border post. Photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuela's neighbors are struggling to incorporate the stream of refugees who have poured across their borders, yet the international response has paled in comparison to other recent humanitarian crises.

The big picture: An estimated 4.6 million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015. Their arrival has severely strained social services, housing and labor markets in host countries and in some cases has provoked xenophobic backlash.

Expert Voices

Trump's tighter Cuba policies aim at Florida but could upset allies

John Bolton
National security adviser John Bolton speaking in Coral Gables, Florida, on April 17. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

National security adviser John Bolton's announcement on April 17 of additional sanctions on Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba marked another step in the attempt to tighten the noose around the countries he has dubbed the "Troika of Tyranny."

The big picture: Ahead of 2020, President Trump is trying to fuse the anti-communism of Cuban American voters with the frustrations of other Troika migrants who have fled repression and dysfunction. With regime change yet to take hold in Venezuela, the administration has begun to increase pressure on Cuba while tying together its policies toward both countries.

Expert Voices

Russian troops firm up support for Maduro, impeding U.S.-led efforts

Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Dec. 5, 2018, meeting. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

Two Russian planes landed in Venezuela on Saturday, reportedly carrying 35 tons of military supplies and 100 Russian troops. The Venezuelan and Russian governments have claimed that the materiel and troops are there under a contract to service Russian military equipment, but the timing and the scale belie those claims.

Why it matters: More than two months after the United States and 50 other countries recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as president of the country, Russia’s latest power play is a defiant move to shape events in what has long been considered a U.S. sphere of influence.