Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, claimed victory after a controversial ballot on Sunday that would lead to rewriting the country’s constitution. The political opposition boycotted the vote for seats on the country’s Constituent Assembly. The result received condemnation from leaders in the region. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley tweeted, “We won’t accept an illegit govt. The Venezuelan ppl & democracy will prevail.”
The U.S. is considering sanctions on parts of Venezuela’s oil industry. U.S. pressure could be somewhat compromised. Venezuela exports some 700,000 barrels of oil to the U.S., daily. At least 10 deaths were reported from protest violence related to the election. We’ll talk about the path forward for Venezuela with David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. He’s curator of WOLA’s Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights blog and co-authored the edited volume, Venezuela’s Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics and Culture under Chávez.