Venezuela’s future is at stake this week as the Organization of American States plans to meet with officials from President Nicolás Maduro’s administration, and time is running out for them to impose a fair and open election, reports suggest.
Venezuela called on Monday for the suspension of an OAS meeting intended to air regional concerns over the OPEC nation’s economic crisis and democratic standards, Reuters adds.
OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, a former Uruguayan foreign minister, has been especially critical of Venezuela’s embattled government, The LA Times reports:
He noted that President Nicolas Maduro canceled both a referendum that could have recalled his government and later regional elections, after the opposition made huge gains in parliamentary voting in 2015. In addition, thousands of people have been arrested for their political beliefs, Almagro said, including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (right), who has been in jail for three years.
In Venezuela, everything is crashing except the government. Shortages in food, medicine, clean drinking water, money, and even the paper needed to produce passports continue to cause mass suffering in the oil-rich country, the Hudson Institute adds:
On Wednesday, March 29, Hudson Institute’s Center for Latin America Studies will host a discussion on the political factors that explain the resilience of the Maduro administration. Javier Corrales, a professor at Amherst College and author of Dragon in the Tropic: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez, will analyze the situation in Venezuela, drawing comparisons with crises elsewhere in Latin America and identifying the key components of the Venezuelan government’s survival strategy. Gustavo Coronel, a distinguished Venezuelan geologist and political scientist, and Hector Schamis, a professor at Georgetown University, will offer commentary on Professor Corrales’s remarks. The discussion will be moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow Ambassador Jaime Daremblum.