Venezuela’s Postcrisis Recovery and Reform
July 31, 2017
Venezuela is in the midst of a severe political, economic, and humanitarian crisis that threatens the collapse of the country’s polity and economy. Internationally, the Venezuelan crisis is viewed as one of the most serious cases of a collapsing middle-income nation-state in modern history and certainly one of the most dramatic and challenging transitions ever seen in the Americas. The next Venezuelan administration, whenever it arrives, will require sustained and coordinated international support in order to lead Venezuela in the right direction.
Venezuela will require international support to relieve the suffering of its people. Extensive immediate political, economic, and institutional reforms, backed by significant international humanitarian aid and technical and financial assistance, will be essential for the stabilization and recovery of Venezuela. There are several different efforts underway in public and private institutions, in Venezuela and elsewhere, aimed at developing recommendations for these reforms. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has launched a Venezuela project centered around the creation of a “Day After” Postcrisis Recovery and Reform Framework, examining how the United States, multilateral institutions, and the global community can best prepare to help Venezuela through its postcrisis recovery including both immediate and medium-term actions. These reform initiatives can benefit from the broad expertise of Venezuela, the United States, and the global community, and a coordinated effort will enhance the chance of success in the long term. The United States, multilateral institutions, and the global community should continue engaging with Venezuelan civil society and international agencies in country on humanitarian needs assessments to be prepared for an urgent response when it is politically feasible. The immediate objective, following a resolution to the current political crisis, is to relieve the current catastrophic conditions affecting the health and well-being of Venezuela’s people and through the development and implementation of multisectoral policy reforms to foster sustainability.
The priority, precedence, timing, appropriateness, and execution of tasks will be essential for “the day after” in Venezuela. The attached framework presents the range of recovery and reform tasks that Venezuela will encounter in the wake of the current crisis. We break the challenge into five key sections: Social Well-being, Economic Growth, Security, Justice & Reconciliation, and Governance & Participation. This framework is designed to help leaders in Venezuela, the United States, multilateral institutions, and the international community to conceptualize, prioritize, and articulate humanitarian aid and policy responses in Venezuela to maximize the chances of success of the country’s recovery in the medium to long run.
The framework is organized into two conceptual phases, defined as “Initial Response” and “Fostering Sustainability.” The first phase, Initial Response, focuses on the need for international help and assistance during the first 180 days of the postcrisis transition. The second phase, Fostering Sustainability, consolidates long-term policy recommendation reforms, for the next few years and beyond following the transition, to help Venezuelan stakeholders, with the support of the United States and other regional and international partners, undertake the most effective and coordinated approach to modern national reform. Domestic and international stakeholders should start on both phases immediately.
For the full framework, download the PDF.