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Regional Responses to the Crisis in Venezuela: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity and Multilateral Initiatives

Policy Memo
March 2019

Venezuela is experiencing a major political, economic, and humanitarian crisis, and the effects of this crisis have a regional impact. The Venezuelan government continues to take antidemocratic actions, the internal economic collapse is accelerating, violations of the rights of Venezuelans are increasing, shortages are worsening, and the overall situation has become increasingly unstable. As a result, large segments of the population are forced to leave Venezuela to escape the domestic crisis in search for better opportunities.

In this context, the Stanley Foundation and CRIES (Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales) organized a workshop in Panama City on September 27–28, 2018. Titled “Regional Responses to the Venezuelan Crisis: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity and Multilateral Initiatives”, this third workshop on the Venezuelan crisis and its regional impact brought together experts on human rights, conflict, migration, and foreign policy, as well as representatives of civil society organizations, academia, and international organizations from twelve countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Participants analyzed the key characteristics of the Venezuelan crisis, the latest trends in Venezuelan migration to the Caribbean, the role of regional and international actors in this crisis, and opportunities for joint regional civil society cooperation. From this, they developed relevant guidance for public and private decision makers in the Americas and formulated a series of recommendations for local and national governments, multilateral agencies, and civil society organizations in the region.

This Policy Memo reflects the workshop discussion and includes a collective review of the crisis and recommendations for policy makers and civil society organizations at the national and regional levels.

In addition, four Policy Briefs have been written by experts on key subjects:

Trends in Venezuelan migration
Recommendations for dialogue and negotiation
The role of multilateral organizations
The regional humanitarian crisis

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