Venezuela, a country with more proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, is facing an economic crisis unseen outside of wartime. Chronic food and medicine shortages have plagued the country, and the crime rate has soared as people turn to black markets to secure common goods. Over the past four months, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to contest President Nicolás Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian regime. In opposition to the vote scheduled at the end of this month to secure Maduro’s grasp on power, millions of Venezuelans around the world participated in a symbolic July 16 referendum calling for new elections and opposing further changes to the country’s constitution.
Has the crisis reached a tipping point? What can the outside world—from international organizations and neighboring Latin American countries to the United States—do to help mitigate this humanitarian crisis and support the struggling people of Venezuela?
On Wednesday, July 26, Hudson Institute hosted a discussion on the political, social, and economic turmoil in Venezuela. Gustavo Coronel, a former member of the Venezuelan Congress, commented on the breakdown of law and order in the country. Dr. Rubén Perina, a former high official of the Organization of American States (OAS), described the role the inter-American system should play in reversing the crisis. Gabriela Febres-Cordero, a former cabinet member in the administration of Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez, discussed actions taken by opposition leaders. Dr. Boris Saavedra, a retired officer of the Venezuelan Air Force, spoke about the challenges facing the military and its position amid the turmoil. Ambassador Jaime Daremblum, director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Latin American Studies, moderated the discussion.
To view Mr. Coronel’s slides, click here.
To view Dr. Saavedra’s slides, click here.
To view Mr. Coronel’s video, click here.