Dimitris Pantoulas

Posts by Dimitris

4 min read

Venezuela Weekly: COVID-19 and Geopolitics

Rector of the Ándres Bello Catholic University Francisco Jose Virtuoso, S.J., said “a humanitarian agreement in Venezuela is urgent." He argued that the current Venezuelan crisis is an accumulation of various problems in almost all areas of the life in Venezuela that have worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic, and he is calling for an urgent political and humanitarian agreement.

3 min read

Venezuela Weekly: Despite Stalemate, Backchannel Contact Persists

News of secret negotiations and Norwegian involvement periodically emerges, generating expectations. However, insiders suggest that backchannel contact between the Guaidó and Maduro governments is frequent and that Norwegian diplomats have never stopped their contact with each side, despite formal talks being suspended in September. Given the way the COVID-19 pandemic is changing conditions, contacts solidifying into talks is always a possibility.  

6 min read

Venezuela Weekly: US Pushes for Transition without Maduro

This is essentially the same proposal that was being discussed last summer as part of the Norwegian-mediated negotiations, with one big difference. Coming less than a week after indicting the heads of every major branch of the Maduro government, it would seem the Trump Administration is trying to hard-wire who they think should not be part of a transition. This was a main point of contention during last summer’s negotiations with the U.S. reluctant to endorse any transition plan that allowed Maduro to preside over new elections.

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.