Toward a Venezuelan Transition? Escaping a Complex Humanitarian Emergency (Panel 2)


Thursday, March 25, 2021, 11:00am to 12:30pm

To view the English recording of this event, click here. For Spanish, click here

Speakers: Luis Almagro, General Secretary of the Organization of the American States (OAS); María Gabriela Ponce, Professor, and researcher of the Economic and Social Research Institute of the Catholic University “Andrés Bello”, Venezuela
Moderated by: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University, Director, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; José Ignacio Hernández G., Fellow, Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development

The Venezuelan crisis is, first of all, a humanitarian one triggered by the gradual collapse of the state, the GDP collapse amidst hyperinflation, the biggest humanitarian crisis of refugees and migrants in the region, and systematic violations of human rights. The Venezuelan humanitarian crisis has been aggravated by the pandemic -a crisis within a crisis. The seminars will analyze the current dimension of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the international initiatives to advance in a comprehensive solution.

Luis Almagro was re-elected for a second term as Secretary General of the OAS on March 20, 2020. He was first elected as Secretary General of the OAS on March 18, 2015, with the support of 33 of the 34 member states and one abstention. Upon taking up the leadership of the OAS, he announced that the central theme of his administration would be “more rights for more people” and that he would work “to be the voice of the voiceless.” His priority at the helm of the General Secretariat is to put the Organization in touch with people’s needs and the new realities in the Hemisphere, as well as helping to ensure greater democracy, more rights, more security, and more development and prosperity for all.

María Gabriela Ponce is a member of the research team of the National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI), the leading survey that measures Venezuelan social and economic conditions, to provide timely monitoring of the living conditions of the population. Among many other works, Professor María Gabriela Ponce is the co-author of “Poverty and social expense in the Venezuela of the Bolivarian Revolution” (2015). In 2020, Professor Ponce explained the recent trends of the ENCOVI survey (2019-2020) in the 2020 Perspective seminar, organized by the Catholic University.

Steven Levitsky is a Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions, with a focus on Latin America.

José Ignacio Hernández G. is a Law Professor at the Catholic University Andrés Bello in Venezuela, as well as Visiting Professor at the Castilla-La Mancha University in Spain. His research interest include rule of law and development, state capability and authoritarian-populist institutions in Latin America.

Presented in collaboration with the Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development