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Venezuela

Venezuela faces a major political, economic and social crisis, with hyperinflation, acute scarcity of food, medicine and other basic goods and one of the world’s highest murder rates. The opposition has been staging widespread protests against the increasingly totalitarian policies enacted by Maduro’s government. Dozens of demonstrators have been killed. The July 2017 election of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly closed down almost all remaining democratic spaces, sparking widespread condemnation in the region and around the world. A negotiated restoration of democracy is vital if violence is to be avoided. Crisis Group aims to engage national players and the international community to build momentum for credible negotiations. We work to encourage successful third-party facilitation, including human rights and technical assistance mechanisms, and to help restore credible democratic and judicial systems.

CrisisWatch Venezuela

Unchanged Situation

Political crisis continued as U.S. announced latest round of sanctions and govt suspended dialogue with opposition. U.S. 5 Aug announced new sanctions against govt, freezing all Venezuelan state assets in U.S. and threatening secondary sanctions against those doing business with President Maduro’s govt; in response, govt accused U.S. of “economic terrorism” and 7 Aug suspended involvement in Norwegian-mediated talks with opposition in Barbados, though did not break off talks completely; U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton 6 Aug accused Maduro of using negotiations to buy time, saying it was “time for action”. UN Human Rights Chief Bachelet 8 Aug expressed concern that “extremely broad” sanctions fail to contain measures to mitigate impact “on most vulnerable sectors of population”. Numerous media including Associated Press 18 Aug reported that Diosdado Cabello, head of govt-controlled National Constituent Assembly (ANC) had begun talking with U.S. through intermediary; U.S. President Trump and Maduro 20 Aug both confirmed secret Venezuela-U.S. dialogue underway. Govt continued suppression of opposition; ANC 12 Aug lifted parliamentary immunity from four MPs; ANC also appointed special commission to determine whether to bring forward legislative elections due late 2020.

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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

A Glimmer of Light in Venezuela’s Gloom

A discreet Norwegian diplomatic effort represents the best hope for breaking Venezuela's political deadlock. To stop the country’s slide into humanitarian and economic catastrophe, pragmatic backers of both government and opposition should put aside empty hopes of outright victory and support a negotiated settlement.
 

Also available in Español

A Way Out of Latin America’s Impasse over Venezuela

In recent years Venezuela’s political and economic implosion has become a major headache for much of Latin America. Regional governments should seek to find common ground and coordinate their efforts with the EU’s International Contact Group to push for a negotiated transition.

Also available in Español

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

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Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
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