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Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
Caracas, Venezuela

Crisis Group Role

As Andes Project Senior Analyst, Phil researches and produces Crisis Group policy materials and conducts advocacy on political issues in the Andes region, focusing primarily on the Venezuelan political situation.

He has spent almost 40 years reporting on Latin America for a wide variety of news media, including the BBC World Service, The Guardian, Newsweek, The Miami Herald and The Economist. In the 1980s he covered the wars in Central America, and in the late 1990s he was Latin America correspondent for The Guardian, based in Mexico City. He has co­authored two books on the region, including a two­-volume political dictionary of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Areas of Expertise

  • Venezuela
  • Conflict resolution
  • Latin America politics

Professional Background

  • Consultant, International Crisis Group (2012-­2015)
  • Correspondent, The Economist (2000­-2015)
  • MA in English literature Cambridge University
  • University Degree


  • English (native)
  • Spanish (fluent)

In The News

22 Apr 2017
As the saying goes, [Venezuela's military is] willing to accompany Maduro to the cemetery but not be buried with him. The Washington Post

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
20 Apr 2017
[Some at the top of Venezuela's government] appear genuinely to believe that this is a revolution and the ultimate goal is the replacement of the capitalist economy with one that is entirely state-run. The Washington Post

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
13 Apr 2017
If the opposition are prepared to negotiate a calendar of elections and a transitional arrangement for Maduro, then it is possible the split between government hardliners and pragmatists could widen. Financial Times

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
8 Apr 2017
Everybody knows that the real reason the government [of Venezuela] doesn't want to have elections is because it's going lose them. NPR

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
25 Mar 2017
The [Venezuelan] government controls nearly all levers of power while the opposition has the support of the voters. That's why the opposition needs to have elections and why the government doesn't. CBC News

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
1 Mar 2017
If you live in a poor area [in Caracas], you have to get up so early in the morning to leave your house – and many robberies and assaults take place in the early dawn. The Guardian

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes

Latest Updates

Venezuela: In a Hole, and Still Digging

Venezuela’s neighbours are at last contemplating tougher measures to counter its dangerous and undemocratic behaviour. The government, helped by outsiders, should now negotiate with the opposition on a transitional regime to lead the country out of its grave social, economic and political crisis.

Also available in Español

Venezuela Is Falling off the Map

Beset by relentless hyperinflation, collapsing public services and increasingly dictatorial rule, Venezuela is at risk of becoming a failed state. The best hope for change lies with neighbouring countries, which must sustain pressure to find a solution.

Also available in Español

Can the Vatican Pull Venezuela Back from the Brink?

Venezuela’s blocking of a recall referendum on ending the presidency of Nicolás Maduro has made a peaceful solution to the country’s festering conflict harder to achieve. Vatican mediation now offers one of the few hopes of progress.

Also available in Español

Crisis-hit Venezuela’s Political Rivals Stumble Towards Talks

Faced with crushing economic stress, a weakening president, a constitutional stalemate and popular unrest, Venezuela’s “Chavista” government and the opposition are feeling their way towards compromise.

La hora de los militares en Venezuela

¿Es Nicolás Maduro quien realmente manda en Venezuela? La gran concentración de poder en manos de los militares sugiere que la estabilidad del país dependerá de la responsabilidad de sus Fuerzas Armadas.

Originally published in Semana