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

4 min read

Venezuela Weekly: State and Society Respond to Coronavirus

Disasters are always a challenge but frequently provide authoritarian governments with opportunities as the de facto power they wield suddenly becomes much more important to the population and its neighbors. Maduro has indeed been able seize the political spotlight from Juan Guaidó and gain some implicit international recognition from Colombia.

3 min read

Venezuela Weekly: Opposition Mobilization Efforts Repressed by Armed Para-state Groups

The ever more brazen attacks on opposition concentrations and marches (see our coverage of Guaidó’s attempt to return to the legislative palace in January, and Guaidó’s return from abroad last month) would seem to be aimed at undermining Guaidó’s ability to re-mobilize the population. He has called for a new opposition march to the Legislative Palace on March 10.

3 min read

Venezuela Weekly: Guaidó Returns, Challenges Loom

The real challenge is yet to come with the need to develop a strategy to confront legislative elections this year. What is more, the political capital that Guaidó gained in meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump would seem more valuable for radical strategies of boycotting and calling for intervention, than fighting to preserve the National Assembly.