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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 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
5 Aug 2017
Should [violent] events recur, Venezuela’s political conflict could morph into a low-intensity civil war. The Guardian

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
28 Jun 2017
But so far that discontent [within Venezuela's armed forces] has not translated into a split in the armed forces, and this is clearly what everybody's waiting for. Al Jazeera

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
24 Jun 2017
The opposition [in Venezuela] knows perfectly well that they would lose a violent struggle. If they start shooting back, everything is over. So the violence on the opposition side is reactive. Al Jazeera

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
14 Jun 2017
The election [of Venezuela's Constitutional Assembly] planned for July 30 could be a trigger point leading to a sharp escalation of violence. The Washington Post

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
24 May 2017
The more people die [in Venezuela], the more the anger grows and the more willing the [Venezuelan] government becomes to respond even more violently. The Washington Post

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes

Latest Updates

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

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