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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

11 Aug 2020
[Venezuela's] health service had collapsed long before sanctions were imposed. Foreign Policy

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
7 Jul 2020
[The Venezuelan Government] want[s] to make it quite clear that Guaidó is history. Minneapolis Star Tribune

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
12 Apr 2020
If there's mass social unrest [in Venezuela] they are not really in a position to control it and I think that's the government's nightmare scenario. BBC News

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
4 Apr 2020
What the [Venezuelan] regime is facing now is much more grave than they’ve ever faced before. BloombergQuint

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
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
8 Aug 2019
As long as each side [in Venezuela] pursues a winner-take-all approach, they are less willing to make concessions and a deal will remain elusive. Associated Press

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes

Latest Updates

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

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal.

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

High Noon over Humanitarian Aid at Venezuela’s Border

Venezuela’s constitutional crisis continues to unfold, with the opposition amassing food and medicine on the borders with the stated intent of turning the military against President Nicolás Maduro, who is refusing the aid. In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Venezuela Phil Gunson explains the standoff.

Also available in Español

In Venezuela, a High-stakes Gambit

The Venezuelan National Assembly’s chairman, Juan Guaidó, has declared himself interim president, with the support of several foreign governments. Unless the Venezuelan military backs his move, it is unlikely to topple incumbent President Nicolás Maduro and could unleash greater repression and even outside military intervention.

Also available in Español

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