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For the last 15 years, Venezuela has been mired in crisis, characterized by wasteful government spending, rampant corruption, growing authoritarianism, relentless human-rights violations and now economic collapse.

But beyond the occasional sharp word from the late President Hugo Chavez, the periodic expropriation of a foreign company without adequate compensation, and some minor meddling in the elections of neighboring countries, the crisis barely registered abroad. This is no longer the case.

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