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Feb 8, 2019 0 Comments

VRIC Monitor: February 2019

February 2019
The VRIC Monitor is a one-of-a-kind, monthly report from SFS tracking extra-regional influence in Latin America. VRIC stands for Venezuela, Russia, Iran, China where Venezuela represents the country itself, but also the broader Bolivarian Alliance or ALBA. Likewise, Iran represents the Islamic Republic and a growing presence of Middle Eastern actors in Latin America, namely its chief proxy, Hezbollah. The monitor is comprised of open source information selected by SFS analysts and fellows. This is not a complete list of media reports on VRIC presence in Latin America, but a snapshot of open-source media highlighting the major areas of VRIC influence.

OVERVIEW  

The commencement of Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate second presidential term in January has provided a platform for extra-regional actors to attack democracy in Latin America. The fight for legitimacy in Venezuela has formed two blocs around the globe: those who support Maduro, and those who oppose him. China, Russia, and Iran have used the Venezuelan crisis to counter U.S. influence by proxy; all three of these nations have denounced the U.S. stance on Venezuela and have vowed to protect the Chavista regime and the Bolivarian revolution.

However, this heightened political tension in Venezuela should not distract from the persistent diplomatic, economic, social, and military engagement by these same foreign forces throughout the region. While Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state news outlets flood the media with their interpretation of current events, these nations are still aggressively pursuing their goal to offset U.S. influence in Latin America. Meanwhile, the VRIC bloc is opening opportunities for other extra-regional actors, namely Turkey, to do the same.

Read the full report, here.