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Venezuela Outlook: Q&A

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Pending answers from Rangel, Ratliff and Shifter. Also: Reich and Bottome.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Has the RCTV close-down (and subsequent protests) weakened or strengthened Hugo Chavez? Will Chavez to continue radicalizing his policies in areas ranging from business to human rights? Will Chavez still be in power five years from now? And what should the U.S. do to promote free markets and democracy in Venezuela? Latin Business Chronicle asked eight experts. Our panel includes:

  • Roberto Bottome, editor of Caracas-based VenEconomy
  • Jose Luis Cordeiro, Venezuelan economist and author of The Great Taboo: A True Nationalization of the Venezuelan Petroleum
  • Gustavo Coronel, former board member of PDVSA and former official of the Inter-American Development Bank
  • Thor Halvorssen, president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation
  • Beatrice Rangel, managing director and president, AMLA Consulting
  • William Ratliff, research fellow at Stanford Universitys Hoover Institution
  • Ambassador Otto J. Reich, president of Washington, DC-based Otto Reich Associates,  former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • Michael Shifter, vice president for policy, Inter-American Dialogue

Has the RCTV close-down (and subsequent protests) weakened or strengthened Hugo Chavez?

Halvorssen: It was a disastrous decision from a foreign policy point of view. Internally, it was very unpopular. In the long-term it will allow him to exert firm...

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