On June 13, WOLA’s Geoff Ramsey participated in #ConLaLuz, an interview series carried out by Luz Mely Reyes, director and co-founder of the groundbreaking Venezuelan news site Efecto Cocuyo. In a wide-ranging conversation the two discussed the view of Venezuela’s deep political and economic crisis from Washington, with a special emphasis on the prospects for a peaceful, democratic solution. In the interview, Ramsey stressed that there is increasing coordination between diplomatic responses to Venezuela with the Lima Group, International Contact Group, and Norwegian mediation efforts all seemingly increasingly aligned towards a shared goal of a peaceful return to democracy. Ramsey also stressed that the odds of U.S. military intervention appear low, with the foreign policy and military decision makers increasingly understanding that the use of force could very easily lead to a drawn-out armed conflict.
The two also discussed what Ramsey termed a “perverse dynamic” in the regional response to fleeing Venezuelans, whereby countries across Latin America continue to express solidarity with Venezuelans while at the same time taking steps to limit their access to regular status, formal employment, and essential services. As he stressed, there needs to be far more discussion of mid- and long-term responses to the needs of fleeing Venezuelans, and countries across the hemisphere should move towards a set of standards that strengthen access to asylum and regular status, for Venezuelans and all migrants and refugees in the Americas.