Venezuela’s Political and Economic Collapse: What’s next? 

Date: 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

CGIS South, S-050, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speakers:

Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst College

Francisco J. Monaldi, Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and a Lecturer in Energy Economics at Rice University

Michael Penfold, Global Fellow at the Wilson Center in DC and Full Professor of Political Economy at IESA (Caracas)

Moderator: Miguel Angel Santos is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University

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Image Source: Time.com

DRCLAS and the Venezuelan Caucus at HKS invite you to the event “Venezuela’s Political and Economic Collapse: What’s next?” The panel will analyze the current political and economic junctures of the South American country and explore potential scenarios for Venezuela’s future.

Venezuela’s GDP has declined close to 26 percent in the last three years, inflation is above 500 percent, oil production is collapsing and poverty is rapidly increasing. The Venezuelan government has become increasingly authoritarian, being ranked by Freedom House for the first time as “not free” - one of the few reversals of democracy in the region since the 1980s. President Maduro’s approval rating has dropped to 18 percent. Mr. Maduro exerts total control of the country using the military and the judiciary.

Although there was a glimpse of hope for a more democratic Venezuela in 2015, as the opposition won the last legislative elections, the optimism quickly dissipated; the legislature has been completely sidelined by the Supreme Court and the Executive. A recent dialogue promoted by the Vatican has led nowhere and with the referendum elections on hold, tension increases inside Venezuela.

What will happen next? That is the question in everyone’s mind. 

Javier Corrales is the Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.  He is co-author with with Michael Penfold of Dragon in the Tropic: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez, second edition (Brookings Institution Press, 2015), with Daniel Altschuler of The Promise of Participation:  Experiments in Participatory Governance in Honduras and Guatemala (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), and with Carlos Romero of U.S.-Venezuela Relations:  Coping with Midlevel Security Threats (Routledge, 2013).  He is also the co-editor (with Mario Pecheny) of The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America (University of Pittsburgh Press 2010).  Currently, he is working on a book project on constitutional assemblies and presidential powers in Latin America.  He was a Fulbright scholar in Bogotá, Colombia in 2016. He is on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly.

Dr. Francisco J. Monaldi is the Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and a Lecturer in Energy Economics at Rice University. He is also Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and Senior Faculty Associate at the School of Government at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. He is the Founding Director and a Professor at the Center for Energy and the Environment at IESA in Venezuela. In 2013-2015 he was Visiting Professor of Energy Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Roy Family Fellow at the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In 2013-2014 he was Adjunct Professor of International Energy Policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2012-2013 he was the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at Harvard University. In 2008-2009 he was Visiting Professor of Political Economy of Oil at Stanford University and National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has been Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate Institute in Geneva; Universidad de los Andes in Bogota; and Universidad ESAN in Lima. In 2002-2012 he was Associate Professor at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas. He is in the board of directors of Mercantil, Venezuela’s leading financial group. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (Political Economy) from Stanford University, a Master in International and Development Economics from Yale University, and a B.A. in Economics from Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB).

Michael Penfold is Global Fellow at the Wilson Center in DC and Full Professor of Political Economy at IESA in Caracas. He was Director for Public Policy at CAF Development Bank of Latin America between 2008-2015. He holds a Ph.D in Political Science from Columbia University and has been a visiting professor at SIPA, Science Po, UNIANDES and USC. He is the co-author of Dragon in the Tropics: The Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela (Brookings Institution) selected as best book by Foreign Affairs for the Western Hemisphere and Dos Tradiciones, Un Conflicto: El Futuro de la Descentralización (Ediciones Mondadori). 

Miguel Angel Santos is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. At CID Miguel has lead multidisciplinary teams on research projects aimed at helping countries (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Guinea) and regions (Chiapas) to rethink their development strategies.

Before joining the field of international development, Miguel Angel accumulated more than ten years of experience on corporate finance and business development, performing as Director of Finance for the Cisneros Group of Companies (1997-2003), Head of Corporate Finance for Mercantil Servicios Financieros (2005-2007), and Business Vice-President for Sony Pictures and Entertainment Latin America (2008-2009).

Miguel Angel holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Universidad de Barcelona, two Master of Science degrees in Economics and International Finance and Trade from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was the Head of the Macroeconomic Policy Team for presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski in the Venezuelan elections of 2012.

This event is sponsored by the Venezuelan Caucus at HKS, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Latin American Caucus at HKS.