On July 20, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) published a joint report highlighting the main lessons learned and subsequent narratives from the most recent effort to negotiate in 2019 under the mediation of the Norwegian government. The report, entitled “Negotiating a Return to Democracy in Venezuela,” draws from in-depth interviews with members of both the opposition and Chavista negotiating teams from the 2019 talks, and offers a series of recommendations to maximize the potential for success in future processes.

Venezuela’s downward spiral has been marked by multiple efforts at negotiation in recent years with the support of international actors including Norway and the Vatican, all of which have been unsuccessful to date. Now, as both the Maduro government and the opposition are once again signaling an interest in entering into new negotiations, “Negotiating a Return to Democracy” presents an overview of the successes and failures of previous negotiation processes, assesses the narratives of members of both negotiating teams following the breakdown of the 2019 Oslo-Barbados process, and presents recommendations to both negotiating teams and the international community to best support negotiations in the future. Here you can access the press release with the report’s main findings, and a summary of the main findings and recommendations in Spanish.

On the date of the report launch, WOLA and USIP cosponsored a public event, “The Challenges of Negotiating a Return to Democracy,” featuring presentations from report authors Geoff Ramsey and Keith Mines, as well as Venezuelan academic Colette Capriles and Roberto Patiño, opposition politician and founder of the Alimenta la Solidaridad humanitarian NGO. A recording of the event in English can be found on WOLA’s YouTube page.

Human Rights