Latin America Has a Crisis Management Crisis

Latin America Has a Crisis Management Crisis
Protesters march in a demonstration against the government of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte a year to the day after she succeeded impeached former President Pedro Castillo, Lima, Peru, Dec. 7, 2023 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

Recent weeks have been an exercise in bandwidth and attention management for Latin America. The region, via various multilateral forums and organizations, has responded strongly to both Venezuela’s threat to invade Guyana and Guatemala’s political crisis. That action is good to see, but those aren’t the only two challenges the hemisphere faces. 

In early December, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held a referendum to bolster Caracas’ claim to the Essequibo region of Guyana. When voter turnout was lower than his government had hoped—and facing a rising political opposition that appears capable of out-organizing the government electorally—Maduro doubled down. He ordered a Venezuelan general to establish a military outpost 50 miles from the border; revised the national budget to include potential military installations in the border region; banned foreign companies from operating in Essequibo; and called for PDVSA—the state-owned oil company—to begin extractive projects there.

Nearly all of that was fantasy. Maduro has neither the right nor the ability to prohibit oil development projects in Guyana. And as if to highlight how intentionally misleading most of Maduro’s actions are, a video posted to social media by the Venezuelan government purporting to show an Indigenous group in Essequibo lowering the Guyanese flag and raising the Venezuelan flag actually took place well inside Venezuelan territory.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review