WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) yesterday, in a story on the White House’s targeted sanctions of Venezuelan officials.

Speaking to NPR’s John Otis, Smilde pointed out that the rhetoric of the U.S. sanctions, which characterizes the situation in Venezuela as a threat to the national security of the United States, “fit[s] absolutely perfectly within the narrative of the Maduro government.”

In turn, this will only help President Nicolas Maduro portray his country’s current economic and political ills as the result of a confrontation between Venezuela and the United States rather than a product of his own failed policies.