After his election as Venezuela’s President in 1999, the late Hugo Chávez oversaw a gradual, but unmistakable, consolidation of power. At the time of his death, Mr. Chávez controlled nearly all important institutions in Venezuela. Although the Chávez regime was unchallenged in its exercise of power – using this power to arrest and detain opponents, silence opposition media, and illegally expropriate billions in private property – it did so under the guise of respect for the rule of law. This amounted to little more than form over substance. After Mr. Chávez’s death, and with the election of President Nicolás Maduro on April 14, 2013, what are the prospects for a return to democracy and genuine rule of law in Venezuela?
- Hon. Roger F. Noriega, Founder and Managing Director, VisiónAméricas and Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States; and former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
- Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society