The Department of State is keeping an eye on the recent unrest in Venezuela. As the situation unfolds, diplomats are working to ensure that people in the region are safe. Ambassador Michael Kozak, senior bureau official at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the State Department, is a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. He says that the State Department can still be helpful without direct intervention.
“One of the specialties we have is dealing with countries, in some places, where we have no USAID mission but also no embassy and you are still trying to reach out and find people in those places. Places like North Korea, Iran, or something like that,” Kozak said. “And you just keep working and trying to nurture that relationship and help those people help themselves. Rather than us having to come in and do something for them. It can be productive over the long haul.”