Venezuela: COVID-19 and the Consolidation of Maduro’s Autocracy

Over a year has passed since the Venezuelan government reported the first case of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Venezuela. The country’s troubled economic, social and political situation and the complex humanitarian emergency it is enduring have shaped the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela. Conversely, the presence and effects of COVID-19 have had a major influence in the country’s ongoing collapse and the consolidation of Nicolás Maduro’s autocracy. Understanding these reciprocal, mutually reinforcing dynamics is critical in order to evaluate future scenarios for Venezuela – bearing in mind that, at the moment of writing this report, the country is going through the worst phase of the pandemic since it began.