GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
Venezuela’s bond default
Venezuela failed to pay last month $1.1 billion in interest due on three different government bonds. China’s state-controlled banks are the largest holders of Venezuelan government debt, sitting on more than $60 billion of the $143 billion total. Aside from creating a tense situation in the world of international finance, the default adds to the crushing economic, humanitarian and political crisis Venezuela is going through.
Opinion: How not to resolve the Venezuelan crisis
Venezuela’s constitutional coup has cleared the way from President Nicolas Maduro to suppress the opposition. But with the economy in tatters, the death toll in street protests rising, and the officer corps on the verge of splintering, the government may be more open to international mediation than first appears. The only way this works, however, is if the United States stays out.
Venezuela: a violent stalemate
The government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is under pressure from all sides: growing discontent at home, increasing calls for change from the international community and shrinking revenue. Still, it refuses to budge, and is meeting resistance with violence. The killing of a musician could be a turning point – but will a solution be found before violence spills over into other parts of the region?
GIS Dossier: Venezuela lives on the edge
The world's richest country in oil reserves is on the verge of becoming a failed state. After more than a half-century of social harmony funded by oil revenue, a socialist variant of caudillismo has run the country into the ground. Yet political changes are blocked by a determined military junta, awash in drug money and cemented by the threat of U.S. indictments. How long can Venezuela stay on the brink?
Endgame in Venezuela
A financial noose is tightening around Venezuela's ruling party. Sovereign default is now imminent and U.S. court judgments have exposed the country's international assets to seizure. Without international mediation, President Nicolas Maduro will have to turn to the military for a potentially bloody crackdown.
Global Outlook 2017: Latin America’s Trump problem
Geography will have a big impact on Latin America in the coming year: the closer a country is to the United States, the worse off it will be. What President Donald Trump does will shape developments in the region, as will the prices of key commodities. If Mr. Trump decides on collaboration instead of unilateral demands, however, the region could see positive developments.
Global Outlook 2017: Venezuela
Venezuela is back from the brink. Over the past six months, Nicolas Maduro has outsmarted the opposition, used a bond swap to stave off default, and coopted the top military brass to prevent a coup. If the president can only find a way to revive oil output, he may be a good bet to stay in office through 2018.
Drug money keeps Venezuelan military in Maduro’s corner
Venezuela is in dire straits, with its economy contracting, its oil income falling and supplies of food and medicine dwindling. Against this backdrop, President Nicolas Maduro is resisting a recall referendum and installing generals in the top posts around him. Because he allows the military to profit from drug trafficking, it is likely to remain on his side.