Venezuela’s Odd Transition to Dictatorship
Venezuela proved last week that it can still defy regional trends. By suspending the process to carry out a recall referendum on President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela became the only country in Latin America since the late 1970s to experience the transition to a full dictatorship. When I started studying Venezuela in the early 1990s, the … Read more
Chávez Yes, Maduro No. The Growing Split in Venezuela.
You can call them Chávez acolytes, you can call them Bolivarians, just don’t call them pro-Maduro. As Venezuela’s economy and institutions continue to deteriorate, long-running rifts within the country’s socialist left are becoming more apparent. Nowhere is this more evident than among a growing group of supporters of late former President Hugo Chávez who accuse the current president, Nicolás … Read more
How Sept. 1 Could Be the Beginning of the End for Venezuela’s Maduro
September 1 may mark a “before and after” moment in Venezuela’s political and economic crisis. Following further delays by the electoral authority on advancing a recall referendum against President Nicolás Maduro, opposition leaders have called on residents across the country to mobilize in the capital city this Thursday in what they have dubbed “The Grand … Read more
After Brazil, Will Venezuela Be Next to Remove Its President?
Throughout Latin America, there is talk about presidential interruptions, again. In the last seven years, four presidents have left office prematurely – Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Otto Pérez Molina in Guatemala, and now Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. Many analysts think that Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro is next. However, there is good … Read more
Venezuela’s Media Isn’t Smearing the Opposition; It’s Making Them Invisible
With legislative elections on December 6 fast approaching and faith in President Nicolás Maduro’s government at an all-time low, Venezuela’s opposition senses an opportunity for a big win. Polls indicate a 15 to 30 point advantage for opposition candidates, which means that for the first time since the early 2000s the opposition has a real … Read more
In Aftermath of Venezuela’s Protests, Whither Chavismo?
The wave of social unrest that hit several cities in Venezuela in February and March is nothing new for a country that has been deeply polarized politically since Hugo Chávez assumed the presidency in 1998. What is different this time is that Chávez—who died of cancer in March 2013—is no longer around, and the protests … Read more
AQ Slideshow: Venezuela’s Colectivos
Caracas has been the scenario of violent clashes between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government forces and opposition groups, led mainly by opposition politician Leopoldo López, since February 12. So far, the conflict has left at least 41 people dead, and armed chavista groups—nicknamed “colectivos”—have been blamed for many of the casualties. However, members of the … Read more
Venezuela’s Escalating Protests, Violence and Political Instability: The Legacy of Chávez
Over the last few weeks, Venezuela has found itself engulfed in protests against current President Nicolás Maduro’s administration. While the student movement has spearheaded this uprising, many Venezuelans have taken to the streets to voice their grievances against the country’s high levels of violent crime, inflation, and the increasing scarcity of basic goods. As protests … Read more
AQ Slideshow: Venezuelans Wait Hours to View Chávez
Click here to view an expanded version of the slideshow. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ body is being moved today from the Military Academy of Caracas to the city’s military museum, marking the end of a nine-day open casket service that has drawn thousands of the late president’s followers to the capital city. The lines of … Read more
The Economic Reality Facing Nicolás Maduro
Hugo Chávez engineered an electoral budget boom on steroids to win the 2012 presidential election. His economic strategy resulted in a significant appreciation of the real exchange rate, an increase in imports to a historical peak, and a considerable increase in public wages. Facing a strong contender in Henrique Capriles—and the limits to his campaign … Read more
Maduro is No Chávez, For Now
After much speculation President Hugo Chávez announced on December 8 that his cancer was back (for the second time in a year), and that he now had a person in mind to succeed him—Nicolás Maduro, the minister of foreign affairs who was elevated to vice president in October 2012. Designating Maduro as the official successor … Read more