The Washington Office on Latin America is pleased to invite you to a discussion featuring

Marino Alvarado Betancourt
General Coordinator, Venezuelan Program for Education
and Action in Human Rights (PROVEA)

Luis Vicente León
President, Datanálisis


David Smilde
Senior Fellow, WOLA

Moderated by

John Walsh
Senior Associate, WOLA

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20009

To RSVP, please click here. For more information, please contact Adam Schaffer or (202) 797-2171.

Mr. Alvarado will make his remarks in Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation into English available.

The street protests that erupted in Venezuela in February generated tensions and violence. The response of Venezuelan security forces has led to credible allegations of excessive use of force and violations of the human rights of demonstrators. The protests have largely subsided for the moment, but Venezuelan politics remain turbulent, and the talks between the government and opposition sectors that began in April—with support from UNASUR and the Vatican—have been frozen since May.

In the meantime, the U.S. Congress has taken up legislation that would impose U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan officials deemed to be responsible for human right abuses committed against protesters. In May, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a targeted sanctions bill and the full House of Representatives passed a similar measure later the same month. Sponsors of the Senate measure have vowed to press for floor debate and a vote in the coming weeks. The Obama administration has opposed the sanctions bills, maintaining that legislation mandating U.S. sanctions would be counterproductive.

What impact would the approval of targeted sanctions legislation have in Venezuela? Please join us for a timely discussion on the likely impacts of U.S.-imposed sanctions, with insights from Marino Alvarado of PROVEA, Venezuela’s premier human rights organization; Datanálisis’ Luis Vicente León, one of Venezuela’s foremost pollsters; and David Smilde, who moderates WOLA’s Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights blog.

Marino Alvarado Betancourt is General Coordinator of the Venezuelan Program for Education and Action in Human Rights (PROVEA), Venezuela’s leading human rights organization, and a columnist for Venezuelan daily Tal Cual.

Luis Vicente León is President of Datanálisis, Venezuela’s most trusted polling firm. He is a professor at the Universidad Católica Ándres Bello and at the Instituto de Educación Superior en Administración.

David Smilde is a Senior Fellow at WOLA and the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University. In May, he published a Washington Post Op-Ed arguing against U.S. sanctions