Nearly four years ago, I was sitting at a desk in an office on Avenida San Juan, preparing the frontpage of what would eventually become the last edition of the Buenos Aires Herald.
We didn’t know at the time that we wouldn’t be printing another paper under that masthead, but our lead story that day concerned Venezuela and the shenanigans involving its controversial Constituent Assembly, an organ set up to squeeze power away from the opposition-controlled National Assembly. “Maduro nears the point of no return,” read the headline, with a banner trailing “News and analysis as Venezuela heads toward breaking point."
Today, almost four years on, that breaking point has long been surpassed. Sadly, the conditions of that extreme have now become the norm. Venezuelans have suffered the worst economic collapse in modern history, seen massive human rights violations, witnessed the exodus of more than 5.6 million of their fellow citizens and lived through devastating economic and social hardships.
And so, as we reach the 200th edition of the Buenos Aires Times, it seems appropriate to once again look north and dedicate our pages to Venezuela and its never-ending crisis. In today’s paper, we hear directly from the two men who, more than anyone else, are responsible for helping their fellow citizens find a way out of this nightmare. They should heed that responsibility urgently.
Maduro has long passed the point of no return. His government, recently at a crossroads, realised that it must adopt new policies in order to deliver some economic relief to its crisis-stricken citizens. That means that it is the perfect moment for the international community and allies of both leaders to insist, once again, that the correct path is one of dialogue and compromise.
Thanks to all the readers, reporters, staff and helpers who have helped us reach 200 editions. Here’s to many more. All the best to you and yours.