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Venezuela

CrisisWatch Venezuela

Improved Situation

Govt and main opposition alliance held Norway-facilitated talks for first time since 2019, and in major strategic shift opposition announced participation in upcoming elections. In renewed attempt to ease political stalemate, President Maduro’s govt and alliance of main opposition parties 13-15 Aug held Norway-facilitated talks in Mexico for first time since 2019; agreed to continue dialogue with view to “establishing clear rules for political and social coexistence”. To reach potential agreement, Maduro has demanded that U.S. and European sanctions be lifted, while opposition coalition has called for electoral calendar leading to anticipated presidential election, release of imprisoned activists, and humanitarian aid including COVID-19 vaccines for Venezuelans; talks set to resume 3 Sept. Authorities 15 Aug conditionally released Freddy Guevara, close ally of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, a month after he was jailed on terrorism charges following rash of gang violence in capital Caracas; Guevara may join Mexico talks in place of Guaidó’s negotiator Carlos Vecchio, whose presence Maduro objected to given Vecchio’s role as Guaidó’s U.S. representative. Meanwhile, ruling United Socialist Party 8 Aug held primary elections to select candidates for Nov elections for governors and mayors. Opposition figure and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles 11 Aug confirmed opposition party Justice First’s participation in polls; alliance of main opposition parties 31 Aug announced participation in polls, ending three-year boycott; Guevara same day called for “coexistence” with Maduro. Govt 19 Aug named country’s envoy to China Felix Plasencia as new FM in cabinet shakeup; several other ministers also replaced. Central Bank 5 Aug announced it will slash six zeroes from bolívar currency to facilitate its use amid hyperinflation. Govt telecommunications agency 3 Aug called off air radio show known for being critical of govt. After floods in Merida state (west) killed at least 20, Venezuela’s Bishops Conference 30 Aug accused “some civilian authorities” of preventing part of humanitarian aid from reaching affected population; press workers’ union same day denounced attacks by authorities against journalists covering floods.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

31 May 2021
Maduro is very isolated internationally. It's hard for him to trade. He can't renegotiate the massive debt that Venezuela has. So he needs some relief. NPR

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
7 Dec 2020
Unless he [Guaidó] is able to reinvent himself in some way, I think the Guaidó plan has clearly failed. The Guardian

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
11 Aug 2020
[Venezuela's] health service had collapsed long before sanctions were imposed. Foreign Policy

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
7 Jul 2020
[The Venezuelan Government] want[s] to make it quite clear that Guaidó is history. Minneapolis Star Tribune

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
12 Apr 2020
If there's mass social unrest [in Venezuela] they are not really in a position to control it and I think that's the government's nightmare scenario. BBC News

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
4 Apr 2020
What the [Venezuelan] regime is facing now is much more grave than they’ve ever faced before. BloombergQuint

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes

Latest Updates

The Exile Effect: Venezuela’s Overseas Opposition and Social Media

A study of social media content shows that Venezuelan opposition figures often take harder anti-government lines if they flee abroad. Exiles’ voices are important, but those trying to end Venezuela’s crisis should listen to others as well, recalling that compromise offers the only peaceful exit.

Also available in Español

Venezuela’s Opposition Is Clinging to a Failed Strategy

Opposition politicians in Venezuela face a difficult set of choices. But the sooner they face up to them, the sooner Venezuela can begin to tackle the enormous challenges of a much-needed political transition and economic reconstruction.

Originally published in World Politics Review

Latin America’s Tough Year Ahead

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Naz Modirzadeh, Richard Atwood and Ivan Briscoe, Crisis Group’s Latin America Director, talk about COVID-19’s devastation, polarisation and populism in the region, as well as the Venezuela crisis and violence in Mexico.

Venezuela: Reassembling a Route to Peace

As Venezuela faces one of the world’s worst economic and humanitarian crises, concessions on both sides will be necessary to break the political deadlock. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2021, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to press for urgent access for humanitarian relief and to encourage the Maduro government and opposition parties to re-engage in negotiations.

Also available in Español

Our People

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
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Mariano de Alba

Senior Advocacy Advisor
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