Summary of How to Avoid a Venezuelan Civil War

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Venezuela stands on the brink of civil war. Violence between pro- and anti-government protesters, along with severe shortages in food and medicine, has led tens of thousands of Venezuelans to flee the country. So far, the international community has done little to help, but the potential costs of a political and economic meltdown are too high to ignore. International relations professor Adriana Erthal Abdenur and Igarapé Institute think tank co-founder Robert Muggah call for a local solution to the crisis. getAbstract recommends this Foreign Affairs snapshot to those looking for a primer on the crisis and a possible solution in Venezuela. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Venezuela is facing civil war and
  • Why Latin American states and organizations are best equipped to handle the crisis.
 

About the Authors

Adriana Erthal Abdenur is a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. Robert Muggah is a co-founder of the Igarapé Institute. 

 

Summary

Since his election in 2013, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has taken a series of steps to consolidate his power and dismantle democratic rule of law. He has arrested thousands of his opponents, allowed vigilante groups to intimidate citizens, attempted to disband the National Assembly and held a referendum on rewriting the constitution. He has also stripped members of the parliamentary opposition of their constitutional immunity from prosecution. A recent poll measured Maduro’s disapproval rating at 86%, and there are indications that the country’s military and police are starting to turn against the government. These incidents of mutinous behavior, together with clashes between pro- and anti-government groups, put the nation at risk of widespread violence. 


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