Challenges to Democracy in Latin America: The Case of Venezuela

Washington, D.C.

December 3, 2009

The Panelists

Manuel Rosales was elected mayor of Maracaibo for a four-year term in 2008, but persecution by the Chávez government forced him into exile in Peru in April 2009. He is a Venezuelan politician and educator, best known for his candidacy against Hugo Chávez in the 2006 presidential election. Rosales has served as a congressman in the Zulia Legislative Assembly (1983-1994), mayor of Maracaibo (1996–2000), and governor of Zulia for two terms (2000–2004 and 2004–2008).

Gerver Torres is an economist currently working for the Gallup Organization, where he is developing a new product, The World Poll. He is also the director of Leadership and Vision, a Venezuelan non-governmental organization. He has served as a director of the IMF, minister of privatization in Venezuela, and has been a consultant for the World Bank and other multilateral institutions. He was also a professor of economics at the Universidad Central de Veneuzuela, and is the author of numerous books and articles.

Gustavo Coronel is a Venezuelan social activist, petroleum geologist, and political scientist. He is an independent consultant on the geopolitics of energy and Latin American public policy. He writes and lectures, both in the United States and Latin America, about Venezuelan oil, politics, and dictators. 

Ambassador Jaime Daremblum, director of the Center for Latin American Studies, moderated the panel.