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Venezuela

CrisisWatch Venezuela

Unchanged Situation

Political standoff continued as opposition leader Juan Guaidó consolidated international standing and govt held military drills, while U.S. launched new sanctions targeting govt. Guaidó 11 Feb returned from foreign tour in which leaders of Colombia, UK, France, Germany, U.S. and EU foreign policy chief received him as head of state; security forces did not arrest Guaidó although he had left country in defiance of travel ban, but anti-Guaidó demonstrators at airport beat and robbed journalists trying to cover his return, authorities arrested Guaidó’s uncle – who was travelling with him – on accusations of bringing explosives into country and 17 Feb suspended operations in country of airline which had carried him home on same accusations. Govt 15-16 Feb held nationwide military exercises involving both army and civilian militia, volunteer reservist force created by former President Chavez and formally incorporated to regular forces in early Feb, with President Maduro claiming involvement of 2.3mn troops, while security forces deployed Russian-built surface-to-air missiles near Caracas international airport and at eastern Caracas air base; Maduro 17 Feb said exercises would continue indefinitely. U.S. 7 Feb announced sanctions against state-run airline Conviasa and 17 Feb against trading arm of Russian state-linked oil company Rosneft, reportedly responsible for 70% of Venezuela’s oil exports and supplying govt with oil products; in response, Maduro 18 Feb declared oil industry emergency and named presidential commission headed by former VP Tareck El Aissami to restructure sector. Authorities late Feb announced they would allow companies to raise capital in foreign currency as Maduro liberalises economy. Despite ongoing disagreement on who presides National Assembly, govt and opposition 26 Feb agreed on composition of parliamentary committee to propose new members of electoral authority.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

31 Mar 2020
If the virus were to take off in Venezuela, and the country were not to receive a huge injection of international support, it would face an absolute disaster. The Guadian

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
26 Mar 2020
If you’re going to cause the collapse of [the Venezuelan] government in the middle of a pandemic, then you will be responsible for instilling chaos. HuffPost

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
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

Latest Updates

Seizure of Parliament Plunges Venezuela into Deeper Turmoil

The government of Nicolás Maduro has seized control of Venezuela’s parliament, robbing the opposition of its platform for negotiating a way out of the country’s political crisis. An already long, damaging conflict could drag on if outside powers cannot persuade the government to reverse course.

Also available in Español

Peace in Venezuela: Is There Life after the Barbados Talks?

The standoff between Venezuela’s government and opposition has reached a worrying juncture, with negotiations falling apart, side deals emerging and regional states rolling out new sanctions on Caracas. Resuming the talks is the safest path to an exit from the country’s ever deepening crisis.

Also available in Español

Video - Conflict and Compromise in Venezuela: The Two Sides Speak

In Caracas, International Crisis Group asked government officials, opposition activists and political analysts alike to speak to camera about their views on how to resolve Venezuela's catastrophic political and humanitarian crisis.

Also available in Español

Troubled Waters along the Guyana-Venezuela Border

Gold and migrants stream across the stretch of the Cuyuní river that marks the Guyana-Venezuela border. Guerrillas and criminal organisations control much of the flow. Their turf wars are already spilling over and could intensify if foreign powers intervene to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Also available in Español
Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Maduro Finds a “New Opposition” to Negotiate With

Talks to resolve Venezuela’s impasse collapsed on 15 September only for the government to announce a deal – with a different set of opponents. In this Q&A, Crisis Group Senior Andes Analyst Phil Gunson explains what these developments mean for the country’s political and socio-economic crisis.

Also available in Español

Our People

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
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