Rebecca Bill Chavez is a non-resident senior fellow with the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program. She is also a Senior Advisor at the Center for Naval Analyses and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2013 through 2017. Prior to joining OSD Policy, she was Professor of Political Science with tenure at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Dr. Chavez received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and her B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her research has focused on Western hemisphere security and on comparative politics, with an emphasis on security and defense, the rule of law, and democratization.
As a close observer of the region, I am deeply troubled by the humanitarian crisis and the dramatic unraveling of democracy under Nicolás Maduro, a brutal and corrupt dictator. A core question raised by this hearing is whether the United States should use military force to remove Maduro from power in Venezuela. My answer, which reflects the position of many other U.S. defense and foreign policy experts, is no. The negative consequences of military action to Venezuela, to the region, and to the interests of the United States are clear and foreseeable.