Lisa Viscidi is the director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. A specialist in Latin American energy issues, Viscidi has written numerous reports and articles on energy policy and regulations, oil and gas markets, climate change, sustainable transport, social and environmental impacts of natural resources development, and the geopolitics of energy in the region.
Before joining the Dialogue, she was New York bureau chief and Latin America team leader for Energy Intelligence Group and subsequently a manager in the energy practice at Deloitte. She has also served as director of EntreMundos, a nonprofit organization based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Ms. Viscidi’s articles have been published in The Financial Times, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and Foreign Affairs. She frequently presents at conferences and universities throughout the United States and Latin America and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, and other news outlets. She was called to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere in 2017. Viscidi received a Fulbright Specialist grant in 2017 to teach a course on climate change and environmental policy at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá. She currently serves on the Leadership Council for the National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics.
Viscidi conducted her undergraduate work in History at the George Washington University and the University of Barcelona and completed a master’s degree in Latin American Studies with a focus on economic development and public policy from New York University. Viscidi speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Energy Program Director Lisa Viscidi spoke with CGTN about US sanctions on Venezuela and the effects they are having, both in terms of raising the pressure on Nicolás Maduro and heightening the risk of deepening the country’s humanitarian crisis.
Even if Juan Guaido or another opposition figure finally takes the reins and starts fixing the oil sector in Venezuela, it will take years before oil exports can provide the economic boost needed to pull the nation out of the morass. Venezuela’s oil industry has been severely damaged, and there are questions about the long-term economic viability of its oil fields. Venezuelans will likely be disappointed with the pace of the economic turnaround under any new government—a risk that poses a real threat to political stability. Expectations ought to be tempered.
Brazil should build on its impressive efforts in renewable energy, clean transport, and deforestation reduction. But as President Jair Bolsonaro assumes power, one of the world’s largest economies is on the verge of relinquishing its role as an environmental leader and retreating from the fight against climate change.
The threat of sanctions has been floating around in the U.S. for many years. They were always worried about the fear that the humanitarian crisis would get worse because the economic situation would get worse without a guarantee there would be a positive change in government. That threat still exists — we still don’t know how this is going to end up.
[PDVSA] is definitely looking for every creative solution it can [to replace US business]. They are not just sitting there waiting to see what happens […] I just don’t know if what they are doing is enough to completely get around the sanctions.