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  HOME | Venezuela (Click here for more Venezuela news)

Venezuela - A Deepening Political and Economic Quagmire? (VIDEO)
The University of Miami gathered a group of some of the world's foremost experts on Venezuela to discuss its economy and politics and what is ahead for the beleaguered country.

MIAMI -- A group of some of the world's foremost experts on Venezuela gathered in Miami to discuss Venezuela's economy and politics and what is ahead for the beleaguered Latin American nation.

"The University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy organized the symposium 'Venezuela - A Deepening Political and Economic Quagmire?' to examine the political and economic outlook in Venezuela," said Dr. Susan Kaufman Purcell, director of the Center.

The Center for Hemispheric Policy brought together Amherst Professor Javier Corrales, Latin American Herald Tribune head Russ Dallen, Harvard Professor Francisco Monaldi, Venezuela's IESA management school Professor Richard Obuchi, former Venezuelan President Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and Western Hemisphere State Department head Otto Reich, and Bank of America's top Andean analyst and former head of Venezuela's congressional budget office Dr. Francisco Rodriguez.

Dr. Susan Kaufman Purcell is the Director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami. Established in March 2005, the Center sponsors public and private programs and meetings dealing with Latin American economic and political issues and U.S.-Latin American relations. Through its task forces and associated publications, the Center helps define and shape the debate over public policies involving the Western Hemisphere.

Prior to assuming her current position, Dr. Purcell was Vice President of the Council of the Americas, a U.S. business organization dedicated to promoting regional economic integration, free trade and the rule of law in Latin America and the Caribbean. She also served as Vice President of the Council’s affiliate organization, the Americas Society, a not-for-profit educational institution focusing on Latin America and Canada.

Between 1981 and 1988, Dr. Purcell was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. During her tenure, she established and directed the Latin America Project, which sponsored meetings with Latin American government and private sector leaders, as well as study groups and publications on issues of concern to U.S. policy makers.

Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Purcell was a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff, serving under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Her responsibilities included preparing talking points for the Secretary of State, as well as writing strategy papers and participating in inter-departmental working groups on Latin America.

Before joining the U.S. government, Dr. Purcell was a tenured professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles (1969-79). She was also a visiting professor at Columbia University (1981). She holds a BA degree in Spanish and Latin American literature from Barnard College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and MA and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University.

Dr. Francisco Rodríguez is a director and chief Andean economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for following the economies of Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, he served for three years as head of research at the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme. Rodríguez was the chief economist of the Venezuelan National Assembly between 2000 and 2004. He has taught economics at the University of Maryland at College Park, Wesleyan University and the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración in Venezuela. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He is based in New York. Among his recent publications are Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse (with Ricardo Hausmann), published by Penn State University Press.

Francisco J. Monaldi, is Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Roy Family Senior Research Fellow of the Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also Non-Resident Fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston; Research and Faculty Associate at the School of Government at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico; and Full Professor (on leave) at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion (IESA) in Caracas, Venezuela, where he is the Founder and Director of IESA's Center on Energy and the Environment.

Professor Monaldi is a leading scholar on the politics and economics of the oil industry and oil wealth management in Latin America and developing countries. In 2012-2013 he was Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at Harvard University; in 2013-2014 he was Adjunct Professor of International Energy Policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; and in 2008-2009 he was Visiting Professor of Political Economy at Stanford University. He has been Associate Professor of Political Economy at Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas (since 2002), and Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland; Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia; and Universidad ESAN in Lima, Peru.

He has consulted to numerous international institutions, governments, and companies, including: The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, CAF Development Bank of Latin America, PDVSA, Shell, Total, Statoil, IHS-CERA, Ministry of Petroleum of Saudi Arabia, Revenue Watch Institute, Stanford Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Eurasia Group, and Medley Global Advisors. He is in the board of directors of several leading Venezuelan companies and institutions.
He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including: Robert F. Kennedy Fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Campbell National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Ayacucho Fellow at the Stanford Center for Latin American Studies, Cargill Research Award at IESA, and Teaching Excellence Award at UCAB.

He has numerous academic publications, recently including: Institutional Collapse in R. Hausmann and F. Rodriguez, eds. (2014) Venezuela before Chavez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse, Penn State University Press; Oil Fueled Centralism in G. Anderson, editor (2012) Oil and Gas in Federal Systems, Oxford University Press; and The Political Economy of Oil Contract Renegotiation in Venezuela in Hogan, W. and F. Struzenegger; eds. (2010) The Natural Resources Trap: Private Investment without Public Commitment, MIT Press.

He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (Political Economy) from Stanford University, a Master in International and Development Economics from Yale University, and a B.A. in Economics from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (UCAB).

He teaches a graduate course on the political economy of oil during the spring semester and is currently doing research on national oil companies in Latin America and the Mexican oil reform.

Monaldi Presentation 2 by Latin American Herald Tribune

Richard Obuchi, B.A. Economics (1995) at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Master in Public Policy (1998) at the University of Chicago and Master in International Management (2009) at Tulane University. PhD candidate in Business Administration (strategy) at Tulane University. Richard has been consultant or advisor for different public and private organizations. He is the secretary and founding member of the Venezuelan Law and Economics Association and member of the board of directors of the Venezuelan Association of Executives. He is a professor at the Center of Public Policy and International Center of Energy and Environment at IESA (the leading business and public policy graduate school in Venezuela) where he teaches economics, decision making, strategy, economics of regulation and cost-benefit analysis. He is a partner at ODH Grupo Consultor.

Obuchi Miami2015 English by Latin American Herald Tribune

Russ Dallen is publisher of the Latin American Herald Tribune and head of international investment bank Caracas Capital Markets. Prior to founding Caracas Capital, Russ was head of the Latin American operations of international investment bank Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. in Venezuela as well as head of The Daily Journal, Venezuela’s 70 year old newspaper group (former publishers of The Daily Journal, Diario de Caracas and Tal Cual).

Russ was a Fellow at Columbia University in New York, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Association of the USA, an American Fellow in the European Community Visitors Program, the Harold W. Rosenthal Fellow for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and a Center Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency. U.S. President Ronald Reagan named him a Harry S. Truman Scholar to Columbia University and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher named him a Foreign & Commonwealth Office Scholar to Oxford University. A National Commission co-headed by legendary broadcaster Tom Brokaw and Shell Oil head John Bookout named him one of America’s top 10 leaders for its third century.

Russ holds a Masters and Bachelors in Law from Oxford University, a Diploma in International Law from Nottingham University, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Ole Miss. His Masters thesis written at Columbia University was named Article of the Year by the Common Market Law Review, Europe’s leading legal journal. At Columbia, Russ worked on the West legal tome International Law – Cases and Materials and the Restatement (2nd) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States of America. He is author and contributing author of 4 books and serves on the International Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Russ is a Presidential Fellows Mentor at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and he sits on the Editorial Board of The Hemispheric Review and southern culture Oxford American magazine, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Harry S. Truman Scholars Association and the Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship.

A Ner Tamid Award winner, Russ is a member of the Support Committee of Conciencia Activa Venezuela, a foundation headed by the Dalai Lama, Rabbi Pynchas Brener, Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, and Pastor Samuel Olson dedicated to rescuing and restoring ethical and moral values in Venezuelan society. He served on the Media Committee of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce (VenAmCham) and the Board of Directors of the Venezuelan American Friendship Association (AVAA), which provides scholarships to worthy Venezuelan students. As a firm believer in the need to provide for better education in Venezuela, as head of the Venezuela Daily Journal, Russ received the AVAA Award for Patronage. In addition, Russ oversaw the annual National Daily Journal Spelling Bee for schoolchildren from 4 to 18 throughout Venezuela.

Dallen Venezuela a Deepening Political & Economic Quagmire February 2015 by Latin American Herald Tribune

Part II Political Outlook and US-Venezuela Relations

Javier Corrales is Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His research focuses on democratization and political economy of development. He is currently working on the second edition of his book Dragon in the Tropics: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez, co-authored with Michael Penfold. He is also the co-author with Daniel Altschuler of The Promise of Participation: Experiments in Participatory Governance in Honduras and Guatemala (Palgrave/Macmillan 2013), and with Carlos A. Romero of U.S.-Venezuela Relations since the 1990s: Coping with Midlevel Security Threats (Routledge, 2013). He is the co-editor with Mario Pecheny of The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on GLBT Rights (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), and author of Presidents Without Parties: the Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s (Penn State University Press, 2002). His research has been published in academic journals such as Comparative Politics, World Development, Political Science Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, World Policy Journal, Latin American Politics and Society, Journal of Democracy, Latin American Research Review, Studies in Comparative International Studies, Current History, and Foreign Policy. He is also working on a book manuscript on constitutional reforms in Latin America. Javier Corrales serves on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly.

Corrales Slides by Latin American Herald Tribune

Beatrice Rangel is president and CEO of AMLA Consulting, LLC. Before founding AMLA, she was senior advisor to the chairman and corporate vice president of the Cisneros Group of Companies. Ms. Rangel was former managing director of Zemi Communications in Miami. From 1972 to 1992, she served in a variety of positions in the government of Venezuela, including chief of staff to President Carlos Andrés Peréz. For her work throughout Latin America, Ms. Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

Beatrice Rangel Venezuela Pearls Cocoa and Coffee Timeline by Latin American Herald Tribune

Otto Juan Reich is President of Otto Reich Associates, LLC, of Washington, DC, a consulting firm which provides international government relations, trade and investment advice to US and multinational clients. He has spent most of his life in foreign affairs, primarily related to Latin America and the Caribbean, including private enterprise, government, and the U.S. military.

In 2001, President George W. Bush selected Ambassador Reich to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, reporting to Secretary of State Colin Powell, where he served until 2002. He then became President Bush’s Special Envoy for Western Hemisphere Initiatives, reporting to Dr. Condoleezza Rice in the National Security Council. He left government service in June 2004.

From 1989 to 2001, Ambassador Reich was a private consultant, advising clients on international government relations, market access and strategic planning, first as a partner in the Brock Group and later as President of his own consulting firm. In 1991 and 1992, as a private citizen and at the request of President George H. W. Bush, Ambassador Reich served as Alternate U.S. Representative to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

In the 1980’s, Reich received three appointments from President Ronald Reagan: From 1986 to 1989 he served as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, for which he was awarded the highest commendations of both the State Department and the Republic of Venezuela. As Special Advisor to the Secretary of State from 1983 to 1986, he directed the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean, which received the Department’s Meritorious Honor Award. From 1981 to 1983, he was Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in charge of U.S. economic assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean.

His prior experience includes service as Washington Director of the Council of the Americas; Community Development Coordinator for the City of Miami; International Representative of the State of Florida Department of Commerce; and staff assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ambassador Reich received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina (1966) and a Master¹s Degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University (1973). His military service (1966 - 1969) included duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Civil Affairs Group (Airborne), Panama Canal Zone.

From 1998 to 2001, Reich was co-host of CNN International’s “Choque de Opiniones,” a Spanish-language version of CNN’s “Crossfire.” He appears regularly on US and Latin American media.

Venezuela: A Deepening Political & Economic Quagmire? by Latin American Herald Tribune


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