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U.S. Venezuela Policy: Moving Beyond Sanctions

Last month, the United States and Venezuela exchanged seven American citizens unjustly imprisoned in Venezuela for two of Nicolás Maduro’s nephews serving prison sentences in the United States for drug trafficking. That swap, and advanced negotiations over cooperation in the energy sector, have raised expectations of a change in U.S. Venezuela policy that could eventually lead to the rebuilding of Venezuela’s democratic institutions, Wilson Center Latin American Program Global Fellow Michael Penfold writes in a new publication. Nevertheless, Penfold writes, it is not clear whether the United States will continue reengaging with the Venezuelan regime to promote political negotiations, given strong opposition in the U.S. Congress.

About the Author

Michael Penfold

Michael A. Penfold

Global Fellow;
Professor of Political Science, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) Business and Public Policy School, Venezuela
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more