Today, Friday the 13th, the Organization of American States puts its stamp of approval on Venezuela's embattled political opposition when it swears in Venezuelan Supreme Court judges, allowing them to operate here in Washington, D.C, rather than Caracas. Far from symbolic, it is the beginning of the establishment of a parallel government-in-exile and sets ...

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro are in a tit-for-tat of name-calling. Trump, in his speech before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York earlier this month, called Maduro a socialist dictator and said, “This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a ...

The stability of Colombia has improved significantly over the past year, according to the Fund for Peace’s 2017 Fragile States Index, which measures 12 social, political, and economic indicators to determine a country’s vulnerability. Colombia’s progress is due largely to the peace agreement the government reached with the armed FARC ...

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has called for military exercises on August 26 and 27, after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he would not rule out a “military option” to quell the turmoil in the South American country. Vice President Mike Pence, who is traveling through South America this ...

As Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos, the Organization of American States (OAS) has failed for a second time in just one month to reach a resolution that would condemn the current Venezuelan regime led by President Nicolas Maduro.  At least 73 people have died in anti-government demonstrations since ...

Venezuela is teetering on the edge of implosion, with intertwined economic and political crises spinning out of control. The country is entering its second month of mass protests where tens of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets daily to call for President Nicolás Maduro to go. The demonstrations ...

Chaos, it seems, has become a new norm in Venezuela. In the past month, masses of peaceful protesters opposed to President Nicolás Maduro have been violently dispersed by state security forces almost every day. Masked demonstrators burn barricades and face off regularly with armed quasi-paramilitary motorcycle gangs, known as colectivos, ...

Venezuela is on the verge of implosion. Inflation has skyrocketed, shortages of food and other basic necessities abound, and Venezuelans are increasingly fleeing the country and relocating around the region. Calls for President Nicolás Maduro to go are getting louder and louder. Over the past few weeks, thousands of protestors ...

Across Venezuela, opposition supporters protested Wednesday in reaction to President Nicolas Maduro shutting down the option of a recall referendum against him. On October 20, Maduro alleged fraud in the collection of the more than 200,000 signatures needed for a referendum – thereby, making a referendum impossible. Maduro’s decision established ...

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators flooded Venezuela’s capital Caracas yesterday to protest President Nicolás Maduro after three years of recession, extreme inflation, and a severe lack of basic goods. The protestors are asking for a recall referendum to be held this year, when an opposition politician has a chance ...

Venezuelan opposition leaders and other anti-government protestors flooded to the capital Caracas yesterday to demand a recall referendum on President Nicolás Maduro sometime this year. The military, while prepared to quell any violence, did nothing to suppress the protests. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to ...

As demonstrators spread through Venezuela’s capital Caracas yesterday demanding a recall referendum of President Nicolás Maduro, the military, notably, did not suppress the demonstrations. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Harold Trinkunas, the Director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution, about the Venezuelan military and its ...

Shortages of basic food products in Venezuela are estimated at 80 percent, which means that 80 percent of these products are not available at a given store at a given time. Lines to buy whatever products might arrive at mostly empty supermarkets start before dawn. Food shortages have brought the ...

Filling the big shoes of a larger than life leader presents special challenges for leadership succession. Under a larger than life leader, the roles and responsibilities of office likely became entangled with the person’s distinctive style. Inheriting an office dominated by a personality creates incentives to both emphasize the legacies ...

Deterioration of democracy, humanitarian issues, and an economic crisis in Venezuela have the potential to cause an implosion that destabilizes the greater region.  As The Cipher Brief’s Erica Evans reported last week, the government is running out of money and resources; food, water, and basic necessities are scarce; and while ...

Venezuela is facing the most serious political and economic crisis of any country in Latin America. The situation is extremely volatile. Riots have intensified over the last months, and the worst of it is likely yet to come. According to Datanálisis, President Nicolás Maduro’s approval rating has plummeted to 26.8 ...

The Venezuelan economy was forecast to contract six percent in 2016; following a 5.7 percent contraction in 2015, the latest period for which official government data is available. Inflation is expected to reach 720 percent this year, rivaling Zimbabwe in the 1990’s and Bolivia in 1985. Unemployment is at six ...

In Venezuela, everything is running out.  Food, electricity, and basic necessities like toilet paper are scarce.  Foreign reserves have been depleted, and the government is frantically selling its gold. And, as the country is running out of money and resources, President Nicolás Maduro is running out of time.  Pressure is ...

As a native Costa Rican and Professor of political science, Constantino Urcuyo Fournier has a unique perspective into Russia’s increasing involvement in Latin America.  As opposed to China’s growing economic activity in the region, Urcuyo Fournier says Russia is building strategic relationships to irritate the U.S., but he warns the ...

With global attention focused on Russia’s role in the Syria quagmire, the media is barely covering Vladimir Putin's aggressive maneuvers in Ukraine, let alone his foreign policy in America’s own backyard—Latin America. Since Putin came to power, he has attempted to restore Russia’s superpower status around the world, especially in ...

On November 30, 2015, on the sidelines of the United Nation COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris, the Presidents of Peru and Russia signed an agreement establishing a strategic partnership. The accompanying joint declaration included expanded cooperation in defense, counternarcotic activities, development, next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in ...

Through hybrid warfare and the Gerasimov Doctrine, Russia is increasingly blurring the lines between war and peace, business and crime.  Russia’s involvement in Latin America is starting to follow a similar course. Douglas Farah, President of IBI Consultants, explains why he does not believe Russia’s presence in Latin America is ...

The upcoming Venezuelan parliamentary elections on December 6 are taking place in a complicated political scenario. Venezuela has been going through a very important social and economic transition ever since Hugo Chávez’s death and the subsequent transition of power to Nicolás Maduro. According to Datanálisis, a trusted Venezuelan polling site, ...

The global oil industry is going through a lesson in Economics 101:  When supply increases, prices go down.  Crude oil prices are currently hovering around $45 per barrel, a 65 percent reduction from a summer 2014 peak at over $100 per barrel.  A surplus in crude oil supply has kept ...

In the seven months since arriving on the throne, new Saudi King Salman has brought fundamental changes to the Saudi power line-up and to succession politics.  Beneath the surface of the royal shake up, however, Saudi Arabia is also having to contend with trends in the global oil market that ...

Global oil markets are in flux.  Significant price swings—from triple digits to double digits, back and forth, over the past decade—are an indication of a systemic imbalance.  In a sector with few ready substitutes, this introduces new risks and heightens security concerns, with ramifications worldwide for the oil industry, oil ...

The business and geopolitical history of the 20th century was written in oil…black gold…Texas tea. Indeed, the need to secure abundant energy supplies has been an essential plot line of international relations ever since the Industrial Revolution. Some historians argue, for example, that the expansion of the British Empire was ...