A new report reveals that, on average, illicit finance for a governor’s election is ten times higher than legal funding. Most of that money goes to buying votes and comes at a cost of political favoritism, sometimes to criminal groups.
From refusals to recognize the Venezuelan elections and new sanctions from democracies around the world, to shows of support from like-minded regimes, the international community has started to react to Maduro’s consolidation of power.
While elite fractionalization between President Santos and former President Uribe played a tangible role in the outcome of the 2016 plebiscite and has continued to influence Colombian electoral politics, it also provides a window of opportunity for Fajardo’s centrist candidacy.
Despite the pleas of the U.S. and the Lima Group, it’s unlikely that the Maduro government will postpone the May 20th elections. But there are several steps that can be taken afterward to help Venezuela heal.
The candidate Brazilians choose as their new president will face challenges on multiple fronts: inequality, corruption, violence and economic stagnation. The field is wide open, but the risk that Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist in the mold of Donald Trump, will win remains high.
Even though the outcome is a near-foregone conclusion, decision makers and analysts in the United States and the region must prepare for possible significant shifts in Venezuela following the May 20th elections.