- Crisis in Venezuela
The FGV CPDOC study, conducted in partnership with the researchers Federico Merke, University of San Andrés; and Andreas E. Feldmann of the University of Illinois at Chicago; was published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Think Tank.
The research discusses what Latin American governments would need to do to help Venezuela overcome its worst political and economic crisis in more than a decade. This is a humanitarian crisis that is taking shape in a country that is home to one of the largest proven oil reserves in the world. With President Nicolas Maduro, who neutralized the opposition-elected National Assembly in December 2015 and decimated the independence of the judiciary, a negotiated and democratic solution to the crisis seems increasingly remote.
As Venezuela seems unable to overcome its internal divisions, external actors will be vital to influence the way the crisis unfolds. While Maduro's government has fewer regional allies than its predecessor, Hugo Chavez could count on, the region's governments are doing little to defend democratic governance in Venezuela. Despite much pro-democracy rhetoric and some mediation efforts, they seem to be relieved to let Venezuela find its own way out of the crisis, even if it means an abrupt collapse of authoritarian rule or an extension of its increasingly burdensome rule.
Latin American governments need to do more to help Venezuela overcome its impasse. The regional mechanisms established to preserve democratic governance in the Americas have performed very dramatically in Venezuela. South American governments, such as those in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, need to take a less ambiguous position on the crisis.