The Post’s Oct. 1 special Outlook section, “Reversals of fortune,” dedicated exclusively to Venezuela, did a great disservice to readers in need of a balanced view of the situation. The places it profiled, Lake Maracaibo and La Gran Sabana, are indeed facing disasters caused by a declining oil industry and illegal mining, respectively. Yet the article failed to describe the devastating impact of U.S. sanctions. These sanctions do not just “mostly prevent the country from selling its oil.” They impede the government from importing food, medicine and manufacturing supplies (including replacement parts for the oil industry); from selling its gold (leading more people to engage in illegal mining); and from obtaining loans. The sanctions have impoverished Venezuelans, caused more than 40,000 deaths and amount to a collective punishment of the Venezuelan people.