VENEZUELA: Research Delegation

From July 31 to August 5, the Center led a research delegation to Venezuela that focused on social developments in Lara State and the political climate in Caracas in the months leading up to the November 23rd 2008 elections.

Outside Caracas, we focused on how “community councils,” an experiment in participatory democracy, were being used to change the provision of municipal services. In meetings held throughout Torres Municipality, the delegation met with average citizens, local officials, and political activists, those implementing and those benefiting from the community council concept.

In the capital, we met with Venezuela’s Finance Minister, the nation’s leading oil expert, an advisor to the foreign ministry, an opposition political leader, and individuals from academics, journalism, and public health.