Venezuela: Humanitarian Crisis and Struggle for Democracy

Greg Gibson Photography

On April 25, the Inter-American Dialogue co-hosted a discussion titled “Venezuela: Humanitarian Crisis and Struggle for Democracy” with the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs and the Washington Office on Latin America. Michael Coppedge, Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, moderated the panel which featured Julia Yansura, Associate for Migration, Remittances and Development at the Inter-American Dialogue as well as Margarita López Maya with the Center for Development Studies at Universidad Central de Venezuela, David Smilde from Tulane University and the Washington Office on Latin America, and Veronica Zubillaga from Simon Bolivar University in Caracas.

Yansura offered insights into the migratory crisis in Venezuela as well as the role the United States can play in supporting efforts toward a democratic transition. She argued that remittances offer an insight into the depth of the humanitarian crisis. For example, last year the Venezuelan diaspora sent $3.4 billion home in remittances. Furthermore, one quarter of Venezuelan households receive remittances. 

She also suggested that the Guaidó administration may need to negotiate with the Venezuelan military, especially considering the horrifying alternative to a negotiation. Regarding US support, she suggested that Guaidó should look at ways to engage with the American center-left, which could prove to be an important ally with the uncertain future of US elections.

The session concluded with a round of questions from the audience.