This oil-rich country is on the brink of becoming a failed state. Only collective action by regional actors – not just the US – can stop the slide to totalitarianism

• Christopher Sabatini is a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs

It’s hard to pinpoint when democracy died in Venezuela. It’s been a long, slow, painful – though predictable – slide to authoritarianism. Now, though, that slide is bringing the country to anarchy and potential civil war, risking a black hole of a failed state in South America in an oil-rich nation.

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