David Smilde
WOLA Senior Fellow
Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Sociology
Tulane University


Iñaki Sagarzazu
Assistant Professor in Political Science
Texas Tech University

Monday, March 13, 2017
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 400
Washington, DC  20009

Venezuela’s political and economic crises continue unabated. The drive for a recall referendum on the presidency of Nicolas Maduro was suspended indefinitely in October, and no date has been provided for overdue regional elections, calling into question the future of electoral democracy in Venezuela. In December, the Vatican-facilitated dialogue between the government and opposition ground to a halt, with no obvious progress on key issues, including recognition of elected officials, release of political prisoners, and an electoral calendar. In February, the U.S. Treasury Department named Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami a drug kingpin and placed sanctions on his and an associate’s accounts and assets.

Please join us as we discuss with two leading experts what the future may hold and the role the international community can play in Venezuela.

David Smilde is a senior fellow at WOLA specializing in Venezuela. He is the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Sociology at Tulane University and moderates the WOLA Venezuela Politics and Human Rights blog. His research focuses on political conflict, human rights, and culture in Venezuela. He is currently working on a book manuscript called Venezuela’s Failed Transition to Socialism. Professor Smilde has researched Venezuela for the past twenty-five years. He has taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Universidad Católica Ándres Bello. From 2010-2012 he was the Chair of the Venezuelan Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Professor Smilde’s edited volume (with Daniel Hellinger) Venezuela’s Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics and Culture under Chávez (Duke 2011) looks at forms of citizen participation in contemporary Venezuela. His book (with Margarita López Maya and Keta Stephany) Protesta y Cultura en Venezuela: Los Marcos de Acción Colectiva en 1999 (FACES-UCV 2002) looks at street protest in the first year of the Chávez government.