Venezuela Working Group

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In September 2018, the Inter-American Dialogue’s Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program launched its Venezuela Working Group, a task force of prominent hemispheric leaders committed to formulating and actively promoting policy responses to the crisis in Venezuela. The Working Group convened several times and contributed to the Peter D. Bell. Rule of Law Program’s body of work on Venezuela between 2018 and 2021.


Venezuela confronts the Americas’ most acute governance crisis in at least a generation. Its economic freefall represents a humanitarian catastrophe for millions of Venezuelans with increasingly tangible consequences for the broader region. And its growing consolidation as an autocratic state constitutes a serious setback to hemispheric guarantees of democracy and human rights. The scale and consequences of the Venezuelan crisis demand a sharp, sustained focus. However, the path forward—both for Venezuela and for other governments in the region—is murkier than perhaps ever before.

In this challenging context, the Venezuela Working Group (VWG) will gather top-tier hemispheric policymakers and analysts to work together in pursuit of actionable solutions to the Venezuela crisis. The strategic objective of the group is to inform, influence, and strengthen the actions of the actors best positioned to exploit whatever space exists to advance a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous future for Venezuela and respond to the external impacts of the Venezuelan crisis.


  1. Strengthen the multilateral policy response to Venezuela’s internal economic, social, and democratic governance crisis
  2.  Improve regional coordination on Venezuela’s humanitarian and migration crisis.

While taking into account potential transition scenarios, the VWG will not focus on the “day after,” but on opportunities to influence current realities. Through the VWG, the Dialogue seeks to harness its expertise and hemispheric network to the greatest effect possible in response to the defining hemispheric challenge of our time.


The VWG will be led by two co-chairs, former President Laura Chinchilla and former Ambassador Donna Hrinak. President Chinchilla served as President of Costa Rica from 2010 and 2014, and prior to that served as Vice President under President Oscar Arias. She was appointed co-chair of the Inter-American Dialogue in 2019. Amb. Hrinak served as U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. The co-chairs will work closely with Michael Camilleri, director of the Dialogue’s Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, to orient, coordinate, and implement the activities of the Working Group. 



No Strangers at the Gate

Oct 2018 Michael Camilleri & Fen Hampson

This report presents recommendations to countries and organizations contending with the Venezuelan migration and refugee crisis.

Transition Interrupted?

Apr 2019 Michael Camilleri

This report analyzes the potential scenarios facing Venezuela at a critical juncture in its democratic development.

The Long Road

Feb 2020 Michael Camilleri

This report proposes a framework for future action based on a realistic assessment of Venezuela’s current trajectory.

Front cover of the report "Corruption and Crisis in Venezuela: Asset Repatriation for Humanitarian Relief" showing a nurse giving a child a vaccination

Corruption and Crisis in Venezuela: Asset Repatriation for Humanitarian Relief

Sep 2020 Michael Camilleri

This report from the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program analyzes one of the salient features of contemporary Venezuela—rampant corruption—and presents detailed proposals for repatriating stolen assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.





The Many Faces of Venezuelan Migration 

The Inter-American Dialogue 

Aug 1, 2018

Event Page



The Americas’ Refugee Crisis: Responding to Forced Migration from Venezuela

The Inter-American Dialogue 

Oct 31, 2018

Event Page



Venezuela: Between Hope and Uncertainty 

The Inter-American Dialogue 

Feb 4, 2019

Event Page



Hermanos en la frontera: Responsabilidad colectiva y la resuesta regional a la crisis de los refugiados y migrantes venezolanos

Bogotá, Colombia

Feb 13, 2019

Event Page


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

Inter-American Dialogue

Mar 19, 2019

Event Page



Venezuela: Transition Interrupted? 

FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Apr 25, 2019

Event Page



Corruption, Criminality, and Justice in a Post-Transition Venezuela 

Inter-American Dialogue 

May 9, 2019

Event Page



The Colombian Response to the Venezuelan Migration Crisis: A Dialogue with Colombia’s Migration Czar 

Migration Policy Institute 

Sep 27, 2019

Event Page 



A Negotiated Solution for Venezuela: Prospects for a Peaceful and Inclusive Settlement

United States Institute of Peace

Oct 22, 2019

Event Page


Juan Guaidó speaks on a panel at an event in Europe in January 2020

Next Stop Caracas: Venezuela’s Uncertain Path Forward

Inter-American Dialogue

Feb 18, 2020

Event Page



ONLINE EVENT: Venezuela’s Humanitarian and Human Rights Crises – The Search for Innovative Responses

Inter-American Dialogue

Sep 30, 2020

Event Page

Working Group Meetings

First Plenary Meeting of the Dialogue’s Venezuela Working Group 

Washington, DC

Sep 17-18, 2018

Press Release

Second Plenary Meeting of the Dialogue’s Venezuela Working Group 

Bogotá, Colombia

Feb 14-15, 2019


Third Plenary Meeting of the Dialogue’s Venezuela Working Group 

Washington, DC

Nov 7-8, 2019



Related Publications

Maduro speaking in the Palacio Miraflores


Venezuela Can’t Confront Covid-19 Without a Political Truce. Will Washington Help?

Apr 9, 2020 | Feliciano Reyna, Temir Porras & Verónica Zubillaga | Voces

Nicolás Maduro


No es momento para juegos de guerra en Venezuela 

Apr 8, 2020 | Michael Shifter & Michael CamilleriThe New York Times

Portrait of Nicolás Maduro


Can Justice for Maduro Bring Peace to Venezuela?

Apr 3, 2020 | Michael Camilleri | Los Angeles Times





When ‘dialogue’ becomes a dirty word. The case of Venezuela. 

Oct 28, 2019 | Michael CamilleriDevelopment Dialogue


Plan B in Venezuela 

Sep 4, 2019 | Michael CamilleriForeign Affairs


Congressional Testimony: Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act 

March 13, 2019 | Rebecca Bill Chavez | Congressional Testimony


Venezuela, 20 years after Chávez

February 5, 2019 Michael Shifter & Bruno Binetti | New York Times Español




The Monroe Doctrine may be dead in Latin America, but its ghost still haunts the White House

February 5, 2019 Michael Shifter | The Globe and Mail


Seize the money of Venezuelan kleptocrats to help the country and its people

January 29, 2019 Michael Camilleri & Fen Osler Hampson | The Washington Post



Venezuela on the Brink

January 28, 2019 Michael Camilleri | La Nación


Can Venezuela Have a Peaceful Transition?

January 25, 2019 | Michael Shifter | The New York Times



The Path to Stability in Venezuela is Narrow Indeed

January 24, 2019 Bruno Binetti | New York Daily Times


Evolution or Revolution? US Policy on Venezuela from Obama to Trump

September 21, 2018 | Michael Camilleri | Pensamiento Propio No. 47

Working Group Members

Laura Chinchilla*
Costa Rica

Donna Hrinak*
United States
Michael Camilleri
United States

Andrés Serbin

Carlos Heredia

Diego García-Sayán

Feliciano Reyna

Francisco José Virtuoso SJ

Jeff Davidow
United States

Juan Gabriel Valdés

Juan Carlos Pinzón

Rosario Córdoba

Roberta Jacobson
United States

Serena Joseph-Harris
Trinidad and Tobago

Sergio Etchegoyen

Vanessa Rubio

Verónica Zubillaga




The VWG is possible thanks to the generous support of the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation. The Inter-American Dialogue is a non-partisan organization deeply committed to intellectual independence. While donors are encouraged to participate in our activities, funders do not and have never influenced our research or programs. Our directors, members, staff, and constituents represent many views and our funding sources are diverse. All contributions conform to the Dialogue’s internal donor guidelines and US tax laws. The Dialogue is transparent in listing all donors in our Annual Report and on our website. Additionally, 990s are readily available to any individual or organization upon request.


Michael Camilleri

Program Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program | +1-202-204-5559 |