AQ's Sabatini speaks to VOA's Foro Interamericano about Venezuela


January 11, 2013


Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas Christopher Sabatini participated in a virtual discussion with Ray Walser, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, former Venezuelan deputy Eustoquio Contreras, and Venzuelan lawyer Antonio Rosich as part of Voz de América's Foro Interamericana (Interamerican Forum) on Friday. The discussion, moderated by VOA's Patricia Dalmasy, focused on the Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision to indefinitely postpone Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez' scheduled inauguration as he fights cancer in Cuba, and the implications for Venezuela's political future as the president's ability to run the country remains unclear.

"There's a large part of the [Venezuelan] population that is not in favor of Chávez...and they also have to be represented," Sabatini said. "We're not talking about a totally homogenous popular will. There's a very large division in the country and this type of uncertainty and lack of transparency is very dangerous in terms of polarization."

Sabatini acknowledged that the U.S. government's response to the political uncertainty in Venezuela has been "cautious," and urged observers not to jump to conclusions about the motivations of regional heads of state that arrived in Venezuela to show support for the ailing Chávez on January 10, the day of his intended inauguration. "We don't know if they're there out of principle, or because of the benefits," Sabatini said, referring to the importance of Venezuela's petroleum exports to its neighbors. 

Watch the discussion here.

Follow AQ's continuous Venezuela coverage here.

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