Democracy Dialogues: Venezuela's Path to Elections

The National Endowment for Democracy's Miriam Kornblith discussed democracy prospects in Caracas.


  • Miriam Kornblith, Senior Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Miriam Kornblith, former board member and vice president of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, spoke with Eric Farnsworth, vice president of AS/COA, about opportunities and challenges in Caracas' upcoming election cycle. One critical factor is voter participation, given that an increasing number of Venezuelans who are unregistered voters and moving to urban areas or leaving the country. The National Electoral Council profoundly impacts voter registration as it oversees and guarantees the transparency of all elections and referendums. "There are a number of other aspects which are directly related to the neutrality of the Electoral Council, and that, unfortunately, has been totally distorted in Venezuela," said Kornblith.

Additionally, Farnsworth and Kornblith talk about the threats posed by emerging technologies and social media while signaling how countries in the region can counter these developments to enhance their democratic potential. Farnsworth notes state-sponsored press as an example of social media undermining democracy. Kornblith concurs. "Nondemocratic forces have taken the lead on social media to control populations, instill falsehood, to distort reality, to steer polarization, and that has had a very significant impact," she said.

Democracy Dialogues is a series of conversations we need to be having now on the state of democracy in the Americas. Hosted by Eric Farnsworth, these one-on-one interviews with leading democracy practitioners explore the most difficult issues of regional democratic governance with an eye toward pragmatic, well-calibrated solutions.

Past featured guests have included Colombia's then-President Ivan Duque, NBA Basketball Star Enes Kanter Freedom, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, CubaDecide founder Rosa Maria Paya, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly Brian Winter, and founder and Editor of Nicaragua's Confidential Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

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