27 February, 2021

Venezuela's Story: Democratic Paths to Authoritarianism


The depressing reality of the Venezuela crisis is that democracy was and is abused and twisted for authoritarian ends. Leaders can come to power legitimately and undermine the rule of law and other key democratic tenets. Venezuela stands as proof that democracy, once attained, is not guaranteed any permanence. This poses unique challenges to democracies globally. If the world’s democracies are unable to come to a consensus on how to respond to democratic backsliding, the risk of additional countries adopting authoritarian tendencies will increase. Without the ability to insulate democratic institutions against authoritarian attacks and abuses, the United States and other democracies could suffer similar assaults and setbacks on their institutions and democracy.