On February 7, Venezuelan electoral authorities officially confirmed that the country will hold presidential elections on April 22 in accordance with a National Constituent Assembly decree that mandated a vote in the first four months of 2018. Over the last year the Maduro government has slowly consolidated power, threatening Venezuela’s democratic institutions. With the confirmed early elections, the international community and Venezuelans alike are concerned that the electoral process does not adhere to the constitution, thus failing to ensure the fulfillment of Venezuelans’ fundamental right to elect a president in a process that is free, fair, and transparent.

On February 16, WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde and Michael McCarthy, Research Fellow at American University Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, spoke at a WOLA panel titled Contending with Crisis: Venezuela’s Presidential Election and the International Response. In the video recording below Smilde and McCarthy discuss the upcoming elections and the role they will play in upholding Venezuelan democracy.