An economic and humanitarian crisis, precipitated by the Maduro regime, has brought Venezuela to the brink of collapse.
- By Ben PaukerBen Pauker is executive editor, online, at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007 to 2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper’s, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.
The Trump administration on Monday announced new sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, a day after the country held highly contentious elections to elect members to a Constitutional Assembly charged with rewriting the constitution of former President Hugo Chávez. The election, decreed by Maduro, comes after months of violent protests that have left hundreds dead or imprisoned while millions suffer under extreme food shortages and excessive inflation. International observers widely question the vote’s legitimacy, arguing this is Maduro’s latest attempt to strip away any remaining vestiges of democratic institutions.
On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for the web Ben Pauker is joined by Juan Gonzalez and Michael Camilleri to discuss the historical context of the current crisis and the political and economic implications for the United States. With a crumbling economy and little public support, does Maduro have the resources to remain in power? Is there any chance of a peaceful transition?
Juan S. Gonzalez is an associate vice president with the Cohen Group, where he leads the firm’s practice in Latin America and the Caribbean. He was previously the deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Before that, he worked at the White House for four years, as Western Hemisphere advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2013 to 2015 and as National Security Council director for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2011 to 2013. Juan also served as chief of staff to Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo A. Valenzuela, is a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Guatemala, a proud Hoya, and a native of Cartagena, Colombia. Follow him on Twitter: @Cartajuanero.
Michael J. Camilleri is director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. From 2012 to 2017 he served in the Obama administration as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and as director for Andean Affairs at the National Security Council. Follow him on Twitter: @camillerimj.
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