Electoral Negotiations Underway in Venezuela: How Civil Society is Responding
Aslak Orre (CMI), Benedicte Bull (UiO), Leiv Marsteintredet (UiB).
In January 2019, Venezuela experienced major demonstrations as a reaction to the controversial presidential election in 2018. The people protested against the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro's presidency, after a long period of economic crisis and dissatisfaction within the country. The Venezuelan protests provoked reactions all around the world and several foreign governments recognized the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaidó, as the acting President of Venezuela.
Because of the corona-pandemic, several humanitarian crises have been poorly covered by the media, which also includes the situation in Venezuela. In December 2020, Nicolas Maduro and the governing party (PSUV), won a clear victory in the Parliamentary election and gained a majority in the National Assembly. Even after only 31% of the population participated in the election, the result was still considered legitimate. This means that Venezuela is still ruled by a government that constantly pulls the regime in a more authoritarian direction.
What does this mean for the people of Venezuela? And does the country ever have a chance to become a full-fledged democracy?
In this breakfast seminar, Aslak Orre will lead the conversation between Benedicte Bull and Leiv Marsteintredet. They will focus on the current situation in Venezuela and discuss different strategies for restoring democracy. Further, the panel will discuss how the country's economy has been affected by the international sanctions.
Aslak Orre is a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen whose competence areas include local government reform, corruption, and opposition. His current research includes Venezuela where Orre has closely followed the political development in Venezuela over the last 15 years.
Benedicte Bull is a Professor at the University of Oslo. Her research focuses on the relationship between politics, economics and development, and how international conditions affect the possibilities of establishing good institutions that facilitate positive societal changes. Her main focus geographically is Latin America, where she has focused particularly on Venezuela.
Leiv Marsteintredet is a Professor at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. His research focuses on political institutions, human rights, democracy, and political crises in Latin-America.
Photo: Precedencia El Salvador, Flickr