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Archive for the ‘Caracas Connect’ Category

June 9, 2014 |

Caracas Connect, May-June 2014

Crises, said political scientist Charles Hermann, are typically defined by three factors: threat, time, and surprise. What we see in Venezuela is a gathering crisis characterized by high threat, a moderate but shrinking time to resolve it, and very little surprise. But, there is a large element of unpredictability due to the opaque nature of two key actors with influence: the Obama Administration and Venezuela’s military. The country’s political future is also clouded by divisions in both the government and opposition camps.

March 21, 2014 |

CDA Conference Call on Venezuela, featuring Prof. Dan Hellinger and Prof. Alejandro Velasco

On March 6, 2014, the Center for Democracy in the Americas hosted a conference call regarding ongoing protests and violence in Venezuela. The topics discussed on this call were: The problems posed by the U.S. media coverage of the conflict; A comparison with other instances in the past 15 years… read more »

February 20, 2014 |

Caracas Connect, February 2014 Report

So far, 2014 has brought little more than a further deterioration of the center in Venezuelan politics. The weekend of February 12 saw the eruption of the most serious political violence in the country since the short-lived coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002. Two student demonstrators and a prominent pro-government activist died.

December 18, 2013 |

Caracas Connect, December 2013 Report: Elections, Decree Laws, Economic Warfare, Intervention

On December 8, Venezuelans went to the polls to elect a total of 335 mayors and 2,435 municipal council members. In the election, the government of President Nicolás Maduro and his ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) running in coalition with the Communist Party and some other smaller partners, faced off against the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), led by Henrique Capriles Radonski. Maduro narrowly defeated Capriles in last April’s presidential election to replace Hugo Chávez, who died in March.

October 7, 2013 |

Caracas Connect, September-October 2013 Report: U.S. Diplomats Expelled, Power Outages, Election Discontent, Coup Talk

The summer months in Venezuela have seen strains in both the government and opposition camps, as municipal elections approach. A power-outage, which affected more than half the population, came at an especially unwelcome time for President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

July 18, 2013 |

Caracas Connect, July 2013 Report

Twelve weeks after the April 14 presidential election, the shape of government under President Nicolás Maduro has begun to take form. Although Latin American governments have recognized his victory in the election to replace the deceased President Hugo Chávez Frías, the United States continues to withhold formal recognition of the result.

April 23, 2013 |

Caracas Connect, April 2013: Venezuela’s Elections- Photo Finish and a Lingering Controversy

Since the polls closed in Caracas on Sunday evening, April 14th, bringing a polarizing campaign to an end with a surprising photo finish, events in Venezuela have been fast moving.  While Nicolás Maduro has been declared the winner, and sworn in as president, the controversy surrounding the campaign is outliving… read more »

March 6, 2013 |

Caracas Connect: The Chávez Legacy

Hugo Chávez Frías died at age 58 on March 5. He was the dominant personality in Latin American politics over the past fifteen years. First, with the failed coup of 1992, which raised questions about the compatibility of neoliberal, free market economic policies with democracy; then, with his landslide election to the Venezuelan presidency in December 1998, he put himself at the leading edge of what has been called the “Pink Wave” – the rise of leftists to power after years in the wilderness.

February 21, 2013 |

Caracas Connect: Chávez Returns – but has much really changed?

President Hugo Chávez Frías returned to Venezuela on Monday, February 18. He arrived by military transport and, without any audio or visual communication, was taken straight-away to a military hospital in Caracas. The Venezuelan leader, who now has 4 million followers on Twitter, did send three tweets expressing his happiness in returning to his homeland.

February 8, 2013 |

Caracas Connect: Chávez Misses January 10 Inauguration – the aftermath

The inauguration of Hugo Chávez Frías for a new six year term as Venezuela’s president came and went on January 10th amid widespread speculation in the media about the condition of Chávez after his fourth operation for pelvic cancer and controversy about whether the Bolivarian Constitution requires a new election to be called within 30 days due to his absence.