David Smilde

WOLA Senior Fellow and the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University

David Smilde, curator of the blog, is a WOLA Senior Fellow and the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University. He has lived in or worked on Venezuela since 1992. Professor Smilde has researched Venezuela for the past twenty years. He has taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Universidad Católica Ándres Bello. From 2010-2012 he was the Chair of the Venezuelan Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association. He is currently working on a book manuscript called Venezuela’s Transition to Socialism: Politics and Human Rights under Chávez, 2008-2012. He is co-editor of Venezuela's Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics and Culture under Chávez (Duke 2011).

Posts by David

Mar. 19
8 min read

Venezuela Q & A, March 2018

Societies are not organisms. They do not die, nor do they bottom out. They are complex configurations of individuals, networks and institutions whose fortunes do not rise and fall together. There are winners and losers in every configuration and every process of change. “Sustainability” in the current context really just means the same group that benefits economically controls the guns and the institutions and can therefore perpetuate itself.

Feb. 19
11 min read

Update on US and International Policy Towards Venezuela: Pressure and Engagement

With the most important opposition candidates and parties disqualified, an electoral authority that has committed fraud twice over the past year, moved-up elections that break Venezuela’s election law and were called by the unconstitutional National Constituent Assembly (ANC), and innumerable other democratic deficits, Venezuela is now in a situation in which its population is no longer able to seek the change it desires. This is the type of situation in which regional and international countries have an important role in restoring Venezuelan’s democratic rights.