Martin Langfield is a columnist and production editor for Reuters Breakingviews, based in New York. He has worked for Reuters since 1987 as a correspondent, news editor and bureau chief, serving in London, Madrid, El Salvador, Mexico, Miami and New York. Martin, who also headed Reuters journalism training programs for three years, studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, graduating with a first-class degree in Spanish and French Languages and Literature. He also studied indigenous literature for a year at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, and is a published novelist.
The oil-rich Latin American country resembles a failed state. It may need $80 billion in loans and investment if embattled President Maduro departs. At 2013 pumping levels and $50 a barrel, that’s two years’ output for state oil firm PDVSA. A U.S. invasion would be a mistake.
Uncle Sam is sanctioning state oil firm PDVSA in a bid to spur regime change. President Maduro’s woeful record has united much of the hemisphere in demanding his ouster. But a U.S. history of regional meddling means the Trump administration must avoid arrogance to retain allies.
A lethal dam collapse wiped $18 billion off the mining company’s value. It may also derail President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to bolster business by rolling back environmental and other regulations. Angry Brazilians and skittish lawmakers may want to go in the opposite direction.