In This Review

Venezuela’s Authoritarian Allies: The Ties That Bind?
Venezuela’s Authoritarian Allies: The Ties That Bind?
Edited by Cynthia J. Arnson
Wilson Center, 2021, 228 pp

This edited collection explores the complex set of connections between Venezuela and an array of supportive countries, relations that deserve the nuanced analysis of Arnson and her stellar list of contributors. Although Cuba remains a steadfast ally of the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, other erstwhile backers are having their doubts. China has expressed frustration at Venezuela’s economic dysfunction. Russia has pulled back a bit, notably withdrawing the oil company Rosneft from Venezuela in 2020. The scope of the collection is impressive; other chapters focus on India, Iran, and Turkey. But this range will also make readers wonder just how similar these country-specific cases actually are. Do countries such as India and Turkey really belong in the same framework as Cuba? Cuba demonstrates loyalty through the sustained deepening of core security ties, but Indian and Turkish relations with Venezuela are more restricted and episodic. Ties with Turkey depend much on the personal rapport between Maduro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And with strategic ties between India and the United States growing closer, the space for cooperation between New Delhi and Caracas is narrowing.