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CrisisWatch Venezuela

Unchanged Situation

Govt and opposition dialogue resumed while UN human rights chief released report into human rights violations. Govt and opposition delegations 15 July resumed talks in Barbados; Norwegian govt, mediating negotiations, said intention was for talks to be “continuous and expeditious” with delegations due to meet each week for several days to find solution to crisis. President Maduro 19 July said ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela should prepare for “epic battle” to recover opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN) in as yet unannounced parliamentary elections; opposition leader and “interim President” Juan Guaidó 16 July said “real solution” to crisis was close but three days later said “tough days” lay ahead and there were “no magic solutions”. Amid continued opposition division between those seeking dialogue and hardliners pushing for international military intervention, AN 23 July approved law restoring country’s membership of regional defence Rio Treaty, which some in opposition see as step to requesting foreign military assistance; however, Guaidó insisted treaty was not primarily about military intervention. International support for Norwegian-sponsored talks remained strong with International Contact Group, headed by EU and Uruguay, and UN Sec Gen Guterres reiterating support for talks; U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams 12 July expressed hope negotiations would remain confidential so as to be constructive. Contact Group’s Special Representative Enrique Iglesias 9 July held talks in Caracas with both Maduro and Guaidó. UN Human Rights Chief Bachelet 5 July presented report accusing govt of committing “numerous human rights violations” including torture and extrajudicial killings; govt filed over 70 objections to report and said report failed to take into account evidence govt presented. Report called for dissolution of police special forces (FAES) but Maduro 19 July expressed support for FAES. Repression of opposition continued; govt 12 July arrested two of Guaidó’s bodyguards, accusing them of trafficking military weapons. U.S. 21 July said Venezuelan air force “aggressively shadowed” U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace 19 July, govt claimed plane entered its airspace. Mass power-cut hit most of country 22 July; govt blamed U.S. “electromagnetic attack”.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

21 Mar 2019
Maduro is essentially calling Trump’s bluff. Maduro has essentially concluded that the military option is a very remote possibility. The New York Times

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
7 Feb 2019
The Maduro team doesn’t want to talk to [the opposition] and doesn’t trust them. They think they will all end up in jail or strung up from lampposts. Wall Street Journal

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
27 Nov 2018
[Miners in Venezuela] are severely at risk of being shot dead: Mining communities have phenomenally high homicide rates, even by the extraordinary high levels that we see in the rest of Venezuela. NPR

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
16 Apr 2018
People [in Venezuela] are moving to the countryside because you can more or less survive if you have a small plot of land and access to your own produce. Miami Herald

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
13 Mar 2018
Increased prices can be charged to [Venezuelan] migrants because of their sheer desire to cross [the border to reach Colombia]. IRIN

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
12 Jan 2018
The prognosis [for Venezuela in] 2018 is further deterioration, humanitarian emergency, and an increased exodus of Venezuelans. Sustained domestic and international pressure will be required. Reuters

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

Picking Up the Pieces After Venezuela’s Quashed Uprising

 A failed uprising by Venezuelan National Assembly Chair Juan Guaidó has emboldened President Nicolás Maduro and deepened the country's political deadlock. However difficult, outside actors should continue to press the two sides to form a transitional cabinet, stabilise Venezuela’s economy and hold elections.

Also available in Español

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal.

Also available in Español

Negotiating an Exit from Venezuela’s Bruising Deadlock

The month-old struggle over Venezuela’s presidency shows no sign of resolution and risks a dangerous escalation. With this Statement, Crisis Group's Venezuela Campaign shifts into higher gear with an urgent call to negotiate a political transition and meet humanitarian needs while lessening the prospect of a military intervention.

Also available in Español

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Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes