U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro
Topic: "Venezuela: From Bad to Worse"
September 12, 2018
Venue: Capital City Club

ACIR was honored to host Ambassador Charles Shapiro, President of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, who spoke on the topic, "Venezuela: From Bad to Worse."

In a sham election in May 2018, Nicolas Maduro manufactured a "victory" to give himself another six-year term in office. Mainstream opposition parties boycotted the election. Except for Russia, Syria, and Cuba, the international community denounced the election as fraudulent. The 14-nation Lima Group of Latin American countries plus Canada issued a statement saying it did not recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela's presidential election.

Reynaldo Trombetta reported in The Guardian that "we are not dealing with an authoritarian government that, like Chavez's, still managed to loosely color between the lines of democracy and the rule of law. This is a textbook dictatorship, with assassinations, torture and sexual abuse of political prisoners, violent censorship of the press, and a sociopathic strategy to use the hunger of its own citizens as a tool for political control."

Nowadays, Venezuela is in political turmoil. Its economy has collapsed and four million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past two years. As Venezuela goes from bad to worse, the question is what will the international democratic community do to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and hasten the return of democracy?

U.S Ambassador Charles Shapiro discussed Venezuela's recent past and probable future as it affects U.S. policy toward Venezuela and the broader Latin American region.
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