As Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro prepares to claim a new term on January 10 based on a deeply flawed election, policymakers in the United States are weighing how to best respond to the country’s ongoing political and economic crisis. While the situation is dire, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has published a new policy memo that explains how the U.S. government can help to achieve progress on the only viable path forward: a negotiated solution. In “Focused Pressure and Smart Engagement,” WOLA Assistant Director for Venezuela Geoff Ramsey and Senior Fellow David Smilde lay out concrete actions the United States could take to help create the conditions needed for credible negotiations that are needed between the government and opposition in order to restore Venezuela’s democratic institutions.
In their memo, Ramsey and Smilde offer a series of concrete policy recommendations for the U.S. government. These include: