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David Smilde and Michael McCarthy:
Chavismo under pressure: Economic crisis
and political challenges in Venezuela

 

 

One year after the eruption of deadly street protests and an ensuing political crisis, Venezuela's economic fortunes have worsened and President Nicolas Maduro is slipping in the polls.   Last week's arrest  of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma raises doubts about the ability of Venezuela's institutions to constrain a crisis.

Lower oil prices are exacerbating the country's economic difficulties, 2015 is shaping up as a year of major challenges for President Maduro and for Chavismo. With legislative elections next fall, the governing PSUV is at risk of losing control of the National Assembly, an outcome that could boost opposition momentum for a presidential recall referendum in 2016. But the political opposition remains fractious and distanced from average Venezuelans, casting doubt on their capacity to take advantage of Chavismo's difficulties. Please join us for this timely discussion of Venezuela's predicaments and possible scenarios in the year ahead.


 

David Smilde, Senior Fellow, WOLA, Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations, Tulane University. Michael McCarthy, Research Fellow, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University. Moderated by  John Walsh, Senior Associate, WOLA. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.

Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by WOLA, 02/25/2015. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers.

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Petroleumworld News 02/27/2015

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