Venezuela’s stalemate will not last forever, but an immediate and easy return to democracy is highly unlikely. The quicker the opposition and its international supporters adapt their strategies to this hard reality, the sooner the country can begin to find a way out of this unprecedented crisis.
While the Trump administration’s “America first” policies are aimed primarily at giving higher priority to national security and economic growth for the United States, the White House’s approach will have impacts on energy relations with the rest of the hemisphere that should also be considered.
While the crisis in Venezuela is primarily humanitarian in nature, international involvement has escalated to the point where a discussion of the geopolitics surrounding the issue is both appropriate and timely. To that end, the Inter-American Dialogue co-hosted a discussion on May 21 titled “Is the Venezuela Crisis Becoming a Proxy Conflict?” with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The United States must now reassess its approach. Washington shouldn’t give up its sustained focus on the crisis or its stated objective of restoring democracy and constitutional order, but it does have to accept the facts on the ground and recognize that maximalist demands are unhelpful.
Energy continues to be a bright spot in the US-Latin America relationship and new developments, like an uptick in US LNG exports, offer opportunities to increase energy security and cooperation across the Western Hemisphere.
On April 25, Julia Yansura spoke at an event hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue, the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Washington Office on Latin America where she discussed the migratory crisis in Venezuela.
On July 28, Ambassador Tom Shannon, former under secretary of state for political affairs, participated in a virtual briefing organized by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to discuss a new report by SFRC Democratic Staff. The report is titled Diplomacy in Crisis: The Trump Administration’s Decimation of the State Department.