VENEZUELA: Mission of Explanation

Even as Venezuela makes the tricky passage from dictatorship to democracy, pressure mounts in the U.S. Congress for a measure that would deal Venezuela a hard economic blow. U.S. crude-oil import restrictions, now on a voluntary basis that has already pinched Venezuela painfully, may be tightened and made mandatory. Unless all Venezuela understands the facts of the dropping oil market, restrictions may seem like U.S. disapproval of Venezuela's democratic trend.

To explain the facts, the U.S. last week sent to Caracas a mission of top-drawer experts: Thomas C. Mann, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs; Matthew V. Carson Jr.,...

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