Venezuela’s Stalemate before the Storm: Divided Government and Crisis of Governance

A Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) event featuring:

David Smilde
Senior Fellow, WOLA
Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations, Tulane University

Michael McCarthy
Research Fellow, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University

And moderated by

John Walsh
Senior Associate, WOLA

Has the opposition’s political momentum dissipated? After obtaining a two-thirds majority in the December legislative elections, the Maduro government has used its control over the judiciary to nibble away at the National Assembly’s powers and block their most important initiatives. And while two thirds of Venezuelans think President Nicolás Maduro should not finish his term, the always-fractious opposition was not able to agree on a single strategy to push for his removal and have failed to make headway. However, the current political deadlock could be overwhelmed by an economic crisis that has not hit bottom, looming electricity and water crises, and horrendous levels of crime and violence. It is important to think now about how the international community could best contribute to peaceful resolution of Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.