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‘The Crisis in Venezuela’ by Soledad Valdivia Rivera
4 March at 20:00 - 22:00
For most countries, the question ‘who is the President’ should not be a difficult one. Whether elected by popular vote or by big army diplomacy, there is usually one single person exercising the duties and tasks of the presidency. Since 23 January 2019, when the President of the National Assembly, Juan Gaidó, declared himself the legitimate President, Venezuela is no longer one of those countries.
Venezuela has come under international spotlights before, having been in economic crises since the mid-2010s, forcing it to decimate its currency and destroying the savings of its millions of citizens. This has led to a sharp increase in food prices, just as imports are dropping hard. These factors culminated in large scale protests since 2014. However, the current political crisis has been caused by something different: the 2018 Presidential election. After winning in an apparent landslide, Maduro was immediately accused of using fraud to win the elections. This has led a myriad of countries to recognize not Maduro, but Gaidó as President. But who is this Gaidó? And what happens now that neither side is willing to back out?
To talk to us about these questions, we will be joined by Soledad Valdivia Rivera. She is an expert in the construction of democracy and political legitimacy in Latin-America. She was born in Bolivia and came to live in the Netherlands in 1997. She obtained a BA in Cultural Anthropology and completed the two-year Research Master Programme on Latin American and Amerindian Studies at Leiden University. In 2009, she was awarded a Mosaic grant by the NWO (the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) to carry out four-year doctoral research. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in 2014. Meanwhile, she has written several successful books on Latin-American democracy and history.