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In a new report from the Latin American Program’s Venezuela Working Group, Caracas-based analyst Phil Gunson argues that the Venezuelan opposition has been most effective and capable of obtaining significant victories when it has been united. 

As talks between the government of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition get underway in Mexico City, Gunson notes that tensions within the opposition over fundamental issues of strategy remain.  These tensions have played out most visibly over whether to participate in upcoming regional elections scheduled for November 2021, and under what conditions.  Gunson argues that failure to overcome the divisions—between personalities and over visions for political change—could hamper the opposition, along with its international allies, in the search for a peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis.

Gunson contends that a return to the electoral path, including the holding of primary elections, is an essential part of the revitalization of the leadership at all levels, without which a democratic transition is hard to envisage.

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Phil Gunson

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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