Daily protests and violence have become a new norm in Venezuela, with more than 90 killed since April 1st. On July 5th, armed supporters of President Nicolás Maduro attacked the National Assembly, injuring seven opposition lawmakers. A proposed constitutional assembly on July 30 has been criticized as a desperate attempt to concentrate even more power in the chavista-controlled executive branch. Meanwhile, inflation has spiraled upwards as the oil-dependent economy continues to collapse, leading to widespread shortages and a humanitarian crisis. And while the transfer of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López to house arrest on July 8th has reignited faint hopes of a negotiated solution, a way out of Venezuela’s crisis remains elusive.
To help understand the complex, rapidly-shifting situation and share an on-the-ground perspective from Caracas, the Dialogue is pleased to welcome Phil Gunson—a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group and a 40-year veteran reporting in Latin America—for a frank and wide-ranging exchange on Venezuela today.
Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group (@philgunson)
President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)
Phil Gunson spent 35 years writing and broadcasting about Latin America for The Economist, The Guardian, CBC of Canada, Time magazine, the BBC, Newsweek, and The Miami Herald. In 1999, just after Hugo Chávez came to power, he moved Caracas, spending most of the chavista era covering Venezuela. Since 2015 he has been a senior analyst covering the Andes region for International Crisis Group, writing reports and carrying out advocacy on the Venezuelan crisis. Michael Shifter is the president of the Inter-American Dialogue.