Venezuela: International Efforts to Resolve the Political Crisis [Updated May 26, 2021] [open pdf - 462KB]
From the Background: "Venezuela, still under the authoritarian rule of Nicolás Maduro, is mired in a deep economic and humanitarian crisis worsened by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Maduro--narrowly elected in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chávez (president, 1999-2013)--and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) took de facto control of the National Assembly, the last independent branch of government, in January 2021. Maduro has resisted U.S. and international pressure to step down. Meanwhile, international support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the former National Assembly president once regarded as interim president by the United States and nearly 60 countries, appears to have stagnated. Maduro has consolidated political control over Venezuela, but the country's economy and social conditions continue to deteriorate. Since April 2021, the Maduro government has made gestures that some observers say demonstrate a willingness to negotiate with the opposition in exchange for relief from U.S. sanctions. Maduro allowed the World Food Program to begin operating, released six U.S.-Venezuelan oil executives to house arrest, and backed the legislature's selection of an electoral commission with two of five rectors from the opposition. On May 11, 2021, Guaidó called for, and Maduro appeared to agree to, resuming Norway-led negotiations suspended in September 2019. Guaidó seeks foreign aid and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as a broad electoral accord leading to free and fair elections."
CRS In Focus, IF11216
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/