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International News, Political

New research analyses Venezuela’s Political Crisis

La Trobe University 2 mins read

New La Trobe University research on Venezuela’s Political Crisis under President Nicolás Maduro’s rule, was published in Cries today.

Lead researcher Associate Dean School of Humanities Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri, in his work with Dr John Polga Hecimovich from the US Naval Institute, claims that during the past decade the Maduro government managed to cling to power despite facing a complex social, economic, and political crisis. 

Dr Sanchez-Urribarri said the key to Maduro’s success depended on accelerating a transition to an autocratic regime.

“Between 2013 and 2020, there were overt attempts to challenge Maduro but none of these attempts were successful, so now the long-term president is now firmly entrenched in power,” Dr Sanchez-Urribarri said.

“The government weathered major protests in 2017, and navigated hyperinflation as well as a total collapse of the country’s gross domestic product.

“It even withstood the election of an interim president appointed by the opposition-controlled legislature, with the support of other countries, in a bid to seek a transition to democracy.

“Maduro challenged this coalition despite obstacles like economic sanctions and a global pandemic.

“To do this, Maduro resorted to different authoritarian moves, including the manipulation of elections, rampant repression and even a fraudulent constituent assembly.”

Dr Sanchez-Urribarri questioned whether Maduro had set himself and his party up for controlling power in the foreseeable future, under an authoritarian regime, agreeing with a growing number of scholars and observers who also make this point. 

A regime is considered consolidated when there is no viable alternative to it. This paper considers whether authoritarian rule in Venezuela is consolidated, and if so, what it would mean.

Dr Sanchez Urribarri’s research is relevant to ongoing discussions about the upcoming presidential elections in Venezuela, which will take place on July 28, 2024, with President Maduro standing for re-election after twelve years in power.

The journal article is available here.

Contact details:

Elaine Cooney
0487 448 734

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