Guild members are invited to join us Wednesday, August 2 from 5 PM – 7 PM for an important discussion on recent developments in Venezuela, at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (2445 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008). For the full description of the event, including speakers and the Guild’s history with Venezuela, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent events, what had been planned as a welcome reception will now be meeting for current NLG members only. RSVP is required to Susan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for admittance.
Description: In 2007, the last time the NLG held our convention in Washington D.C., the Bolivarian Revolution was in full swing: poverty had been cut in half, literacy and voting rates were higher than ever in Venezuelan history, and NLG had just commenced a rich relationship with progressive lawyers, judges, government officials, journalists and grassroots activists from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Then Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez had invited the Guild to a reception in the Bolivarian Hall the night before the opening of the Convention and we all celebrated what looked to be a progressive future for Latin America. The Guild’s support of the Bolivarian project for Venezuela and the region is widespread and deep. In the past decade, scores of Guild members have visited Venezuela and numerous Venezuelans have attended our conventions and participated in Guild-sponsored presentations.
However, in the past several years, Venezuela’s economy and political landscape has taken hard hits. The country’s oil revenues have plummeted and a violent hard-right opposition has sabotaged government efforts to maintain the Bolivarian project. The opposition’s electoral victory in National Assembly elections in December 2015 has brought the Venezuelan government to a standstill, with the Supreme Court rejecting the opposition’s efforts to privatize housing and reverse course. On July 30, 2017, the Sunday prior to the Guild’s convention, the government in Venezuela will be holding elections for a new Constituent Assembly to re-write the popular Bolivarian Constitution.
As long time chavistas disagree on the efficacy and legality of the Constituent Assembly and other government policies, the response of President Maduro’s government has become increasingly controversial, including threats of arbitrary detention, defamation and imprisonment for dissenters.
NLG members have been invited to join a conversation and discussion to discuss these concerns and the future of the Bolivarian project in conjunction with our convention.
Presenters will include:
- Carlos Ron, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
- Lucas Koerner, legal reporter from the independent on-line news source Venezuelanalysis.com
- Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research