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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

Languages

  • English (native)
  • Spanish (fluent)
     

In The News

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
11 Jan 2018
Venezuela is in a very, very deep economic hole. Hyperinflation is around 2,000%. Foreign reserves are well below $10 billion, and the productive economy is virtually in pieces. The World Weekly

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
9 Jan 2018
The [Venezuelan] military needs [President] Maduro because they would rather not rule themselves. He makes life good for them. If you are a general and play by the rules you can make a lot of money. The Guardian

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
8 Dec 2017
The least you can ask of [Venezuelan] opposition is that it shows up and puts up a fight. There [aren't] many instances in history where governments have been brought down by electoral boycotts. The Guardian

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
22 Nov 2017
[Venezuela's chief prosecutor Tarek William] Saab is [fighting against corruption] at the behest of his political master, who one assumes to be [President] Nicolas Maduro. Bloomberg

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
16 Aug 2017
There is malaria now even in urban areas [of Venezuela]. The government's anti-malaria programme has effectively been dismantled. Al Jazeera

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes

Latest Updates

President Maduro’s Likely Re-election in Breadline Venezuela

As tens of thousands of Venezuelans stream into neighbouring countries, President Nicolás Maduro appears set to win elections on 20 May. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson looks ahead to the vote and its aftermath and explains why the crisis is likely to deepen.

Also available in Español
Op-Ed / Asia

Why China Should Help Solve Venezuela’s Deepening Crisis

Originally published in Asia Times

Also available in 简体中文

Venezuela's Last Flickers of Democracy

Venezuela’s political crisis took another fateful turn on Sunday 30 July with the rigged election of an all-powerful assembly mandated to rewrite the constitution. In this Q&A, Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson says Sunday’s vote represents the end of what little democratic space still existed and takes the country on the path to dictatorship.

Also available in Español

Venezuela: A Blueprint for Strife

Two developments are propelling Venezuela faster along a route that has already led to dozens of deaths in the last few weeks: the first is an undemocratic proposal for a new constitution; the second is increasingly isolated Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Organisation of American States.

Also available in Español

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