"Difficult choices" have to be made, he claims. Jettisoning popular popular programs should happen slowly. He's for "piecemeal" change.
"Moderation" should replace Chavismo and "grandiosity."
Venezuelans alone will decide their future. Outside meddling won't be tolerated. Bolivarian achievements are cherished. Shifter and other neoliberal hardliners want it replaced.
Joy Olson is Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) executive director. She's a frequent mainstream media commentator. She avoids discussing what most needs explaining.
David Smilde is a senior WOLA fellow. He specializes in Venezuela. He and Olson headlined "Fight Crime, Respect the Poor." They claim government "oil-financed social policies are of questionable sustainability."
"Lack of transparency and accountability threaten them." Venezuela's "enormous fiscal deficit will need to be addressed."
Instead of accurately discussing Venezuelan conditions, both contributors distorted reality. They greatly exaggerated crime problems. They ignore high US levels. A previous article said the following:
On November 18, 2012, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said "epidemic levels of gun violence (claim) over 30,000 lives annually."
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data document it.