Hugo Chávez

A woman simulates her vote as Venezuela's National Electoral Council presents the technology platform for parliamentary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 9, 2020. 

Getting at the vote: Part II

Critical State

Incumbent regimes often act to restrict media access for their opponents in the same way that they restrict access to the vote itself. This week, Critical State looks into Kyong Mazzaro’s new research on where and when Venezuela restricted media during election periods.

Red stencil of eyes on a turquoise blue background.

Chávez’s revolutionaries caught between legacy and change in Venezuela

Global Politics
Maduro waves in front of a white flag

Former chief of staff: Maduro is ‘focused on consolidating his power’

Global Politics
Cutouts depicting images of oil operations

Why Venezuela’s oil money could keep undermining its economy and democracy

Venezuelans walk past a wall painted with the face of then presidential candidate Hugo Chávez. The leftist military leader tapped into a wave of discontent in the country with falling living standards and corrupt public institutions, December 1998.

Venezuela was once the richest, most stable, democracy in Latin America. What happened?

Venezuela President Maduro in blue suit holds his hands out and speaks at news conference.

Venezuelans fear ‘Fatherland Card’ may be a new form of social control

Global Politics

In Venezuela, the new “Fatherland Card” was introduced as a way to streamline the state-administered distribution of food. But many fear it may be part of a biometric ID system that could determine which citizens have access to basic services based on their political allegiances.

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks next to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in front of a row of Chinese troops

Venezuela’s new ‘fatherland’ ID card, created with China’s ZTE, helps create social control

Venezuela is rolling out a new, smart-card ID known as the ‘carnet de la patria,’ or ‘fatherland card.’ The ID transmits data about cardholders to computer servers. The card is increasingly linked by the government to subsidized food, health and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive.

Daniel Ortega speaks in front of a huge picture of Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan oil fueled the rise and fall of Nicaragua’s Ortega regime

Global Politics

This time, it’s not the US that’s supporting an unpopular Nicaraguan dictator. It’s Venezuela.

The corporate logo of the state oil company PDVSA is seen at a gas station in Caracas,

Understaffed and overextended: How Venezuela’s oil industry fell apart


Venezuela is flush with oil. But in the past three years its economy has collapsed.


Citing human rights violations, Obama freezes assets of Venezuelan officials

Global Politics

On Monday, the White House says “Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of US financial systems.”