Broadening Discussions About the Path Towards Restoring Democracy in Venezuela

This project engages stakeholders from the US, UK, Europe, and Latin America, with a focus on supporting free and fair elections in 2024 and 2025 .

Negotiations in Mexico between the Venezuelan government and the democratic opposition remain on hold. There is a broad consensus that the only way to restore democracy in Venezuela will be through negotiations that establish conditions for the restoration of human rights and democratic norms and processes.

Since the past effort at negotiations, brokered by Norway, the alliance of countries that supported the opposition leader Juan Guaidó and the negotiations generally has changed. This is due in large part to domestic elections in many of the countries and frustration over the political stalemate.

As a result, there is greater diversity of positions and a declining sense of momentum internationally and within Venezuela, even if there is more consensus around the importance and goals of the negotiations.

For these reasons, Chatham House has launched a project to engage a spectrum of stakeholders from the US, the UK, Europe, and Latin America including Venezuela for a series of one-on-one meetings, as well as larger closed-door meetings in the UK and Latin America.

The intention is to develop a consensus document from governments, civil society and the business community concerning the path towards restoring fundamental rights and democracy and the role of the international community. The document will have a specific focus on supporting the conditions for internationally accepted free and fair elections in the planned 2024 presidential elections and 2025 parliamentary elections.

All meetings will be private, but Chatham House will promote consensus public documents on avenues for accountability for human rights violations, on the negotiations, and on policies to support substantive movement toward internationally accepted elections through constructive, unified international pressure. Documents will be shared with likeminded governments, the media and other groups.

Chatham House would like to thank Open Society Foundations for their generous support of this project. The summary of the first workshop is below.  The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also supported two research projects on Venezuela. Those research reports are provided below, as part of the US Americas Programme’s broader Venezuela work.