• Venezuela’s Sham Election

    Nicolás Maduro is expected to be re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20 in an election that most experts agree is a sham the United States and several Latin American countries have refused to recognize, and the European Union wants suspended until the conditions are suitable to organize a free and fair vote.

    “Rather than an election, it is really an electoral event because we know who the winner will be on May 20,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

    “All the conditions leading up to the electoral event—including the barring of opposition candidates, the lack of international observation, the government control of the electoral council, the scare tactics imposed on the people—means that whatever the outcome is it will be the one chosen by the Maduro regime,” he added.

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  • Conference Call - Venezuela’s Sham Electoral Event: Preparing for May 20 and What Comes Next

    On Thursday, May 17, the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center held a timely conference call to discuss Venezuela's May 20 electoral event with Juan Andrés Mejía, Representative of the State of Miranda in Venezuela's National Assembly, and Phil Gunson, Andes Project Senior Analyst at the International Crisis Group. Below is the full transcript. 

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  • United States Puts Conditions on Lifting Venezuela Sanctions

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration will consider lifting sanctions on Venezuelan officials provided they take steps to ease the political, humanitarian, and economic crisis that is gripping their country, a US State Department official said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 30.

    The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on Venezuelan officials, including Vice President Tareck El Aissami over his alleged involvement in drug trafficking; members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, which attempted to strip power from the opposition-led National Assembly; and current and former Venezuelan military officials.

    Noting that most of the US sanctions are on individual members of the regime, Michael Fitzpatrick, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said: “What we are trying to do is to ensure that… we are not complicit in the wholesale looting of the financial coffers of Venezuela.”

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  • Venezuela's Humanitarian Crisis: Searching for Relief

    On April 30, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted “Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis: Searching for Relief.” The event sought to explore different perspectives on what has quickly become one of most disruptive developments in the Western Hemisphere: the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Held in Washington DC in collaboration with the regional news channel NTN24, the event explored the multiple dimensions of the crisis and its reverberations across the region, drawing on the knowledge and experience of a group of expert panelists working in the context of humanitarian situations.

    Jason Marczak
    , director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, opened the event by emphasizing the importance of sustained international attention to the crisis and of the need to move the needle forward on relief. Drawing on two polls released by the Atlantic Council, Marczak exposed the profound toll the crisis has taken on Venezuelan citizens across party lines. He provided insight on some of the most trusted institutions in the eyes of Venezuelans like the Catholic Church, outlining potential avenues for the provision of relief into the country.

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  • Cuba’s New President Sails into Choppy Waters

    For the first time in sixty years, Cuba will be led by a man whose last name is not Castro. However, this reality is unlikely to herald change in Cuba or soften US President Donald J. Trump’s hard line toward the island that sits just ninety miles off the US coast, according to the Atlantic Council’s Jason Marczak.

    “The Trump administration is not going to be refining its Cuba strategy. If anything, it is going to be putting more pressure on Cuba” because of Havana’s support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, said Marczak, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council.

    Miguel Díaz-Canel, the fifty-seven-year-old vice president of Cuba, was elected president, unopposed, on April 19. He succeeds Raúl Castro, eighty-six, who, while no longer president, will remain a powerful force in Cuba as head of the Communist Party.

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  • Marczak in Real Clear World: The Other Venezuela Crisis

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  • Trump’s Decision to Skip the Summit of the Americas Sends the ‘Wrong Message’

    US President Donald J. Trump’s decision not to attend the Summit of the Americas in Peru this week sends the “wrong message” to many of the United States’ friends in Latin America, according to Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

    Trump will skip the summit, scheduled for April 13 and 14, as well as a trip to Colombia in order to “oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world,” White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement on April 10.

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  • Venezuela in Crisis

    Results from latest national door-to-door poll reveals deepening humanitarian and economic anxieties and widespread political mistrust ahead of upcoming presidential elections.

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  • Marczak Quoted in Forbes on Venezuela's Economic Crisis

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  • Venezuela’s Oil Industry: Can it Survive?

    Once the country’s lifeline, Venezuela’s oil industry has been decimated, the product of decades of neglect and mismanagement. As Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis worsens and political conditions deteriorate ahead of upcoming presidential elections, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in partnership with the Global Energy Center and Eurasia Center, hosted a timely conversation on March 13, 2018 on the future of Venezuela’s oil industry and the implications of the entrance of foreign actors into the space. The event marked the launch of The Collapse of the Venezuelan Oil Industry and its Global Consequences, a new policy brief by Francisco Monaldi, Atlantic Council author and fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute. The brief details what’s ahead for the crisis-ridden country and its energy industry. 

    The panel discussion, moderated by Center Director Jason Marczak, convened Monaldi; David Goldwyn, chair of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group and senior fellow in the Latin America Center; Rebecca Chávez, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US Department of Defense; Kerry Contini, partner at Baker McKenzie’s Outbound Trade Practice Group; and David Smolansky, former mayor of El Hatillo Municipality in Venezuela and deputy secretary general of Voluntad Popular. 

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