Venezuela ‘loosening grip’ on market, tightening on dissent


President Nicolás Maduro ’s authoritarian government, long a practitioner of tight state control of the economy, has quietly and cautiously begun implementing free-market policies to tame hyperinflation and correct an economic contraction worse than America’s Great Depression. So far, that approach is providing a sliver of light to the moribund economy, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Sergi Lanau, deputy chief economist for the Institute of International Finance in Washington, warned that the measures undertaken in Venezuela are “not part of a well-thought-out adjustment program” and that stratospheric inflation could return if the regime abandons its improvised reforms. “Is this a turning point? I would say no, definitely not,” said Lanau, warning that the regime could abandon its improvised reforms. “Who knows in a few months if the decision will be ‘Well, we need money again. Let’s print some more.’ ”

International Republican Institute

Several smaller opposition parties have agreed to direct negotiations (CFR) with Maduro’s government after opposition leader Juan Guaido announced that a Norway-brokered peace process had been exhausted. Guaido called the decision a “maneuver” by Maduro’s regime to split the opposition. The move threatens to erode Guaidó’s efforts to hold together a coalition to confront the socialist administration, Associated Press adds (HT:FDD)

In Foreign Affairs, Michael J. Camilleri lays out an achievable strategy for the United States in Venezuela.

Forum 2000 has condemned the Venezuelan government’s harassment and intimidation of the family of international human rights lawyer Tamara Sujú (above), who is currently living in exile.  Sujú has been suffering systematic intimidation by Maduro’s regime. Last week, the harassment intensified and extended to family members in Caracas, including false accusations on state-controlled TV channels to raids at Tamara’s apartment and homes of her family members by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service SEBIN, and national police agency CICPC, the Forum notes. You can find more information here.

A former Special Envoy of the Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó to the Czech Republic, Sujú is a member of Democratic Solidarity Steering Committee, signatory of the Prague Appeal, and member of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal (ICDR).

21st Forum 2000 Conference

Delsa Solórzano, Vice President, IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and member, Venezuelan National Assembly will address the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing co-hosted by the House Democracy Partnership on ……

Parliamentarians at Risk Around the World

In the face of growing authoritarianism across the globe, parliamentarians who carry out their duties and raise their voices on behalf of their constituencies are suffering reprisals, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission adds. In 2018, the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) processed 564 cases of requests for redress for members of parliament who had been intimidated, attacked, jailed or killed – the highest caseload in the Committee’s 40-year history. Panelists will describe their first-hand experiences as parliamentarians at risk or their family members and share their recommendations for responding to a growing threat that targets the legislative heart of democratic political systems.

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the House Democracy Partnership for a briefing on parliamentarians at risk around the world.

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC
  • Rep. David Price, Chair, House Democracy Partnership

Panel I

  • Delsa Solórzano, Vice President, IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and member, Venezuelan National Assembly
  • Hisyar Ozsoy, member, Grand National Assembly, Turkey
  • Vicente de Lima, brother of detained Filipino Senator Leila De Lima
  • Gabriela Cuevas Barrón, IPU President and member, Congress of the Union, Mexico   


  • Mary Milliken, Foreign Policy Editor, Reuters

Thursday, September 19, 2019. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. H-313 Capitol Building, Rules Committee Hearing Room, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.  RSVP

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