Buying Votes and Lining Pockets: Venezuela’s Petro-Diplomacy


Event Summary This event has passed.

Launched in 2005 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez ostensibly as a means to foster regional development in Central America and the Caribbean, the Petrocaribe program injected an estimated $28 billion into 14 beneficiary countries. However, the disbursement of the funds and their use by local governments was opaque and often mismanaged, and served to buy the diplomatic loyalty that has shielded the Chávez/Maduro regime from greater international opprobrium.

#Petrofraude, a comprehensive new report by investigative journalism platform CONNECTAS, documents the corruption and waste of public funds under the aegis of Petrocaribe, as well as the continuing diplomatic ramifications of the program. To discuss the report’s findings and their broader implications for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela, the Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to partner with CONNECTAS, the International Center for Journalists, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Transparency International for “Buying Votes and Lining Pockets: Venezuela’s Petro-Diplomacy.”

Follow this event on Twitter at #Petrofraude, @The_Dialogue, and @ConnectasOrg


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)

Opening remarks

Carlos Eduardo Huertas

Director, CONNECTAS (@ConnectasOrg)


Suhelis Tejero Puntes

Reporter, Diario Libre, Dominican Republic (@Suhelis)

Miriam Kornblith

Senior Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, National Endowment for Democracy

David González

Investigative Journalist, CONNECTAS (@dgonzalezt)

Zoe Reiter

Acting Representative to US and Senior Project Leader, Transparency International (@zoe_reiter)


Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)

Luis Botello

Deputy Vice President for New Initiatives and Impact, International Center for Journalists (@lbotello)

A light breakfast will be served. Please note that this event will be held in English and Spanish, with interpretation provided.