Opinion: Migration crisis looming in Venezuela?

20 Oct 17

Opinion: Migration crisis looming in Venezuela?

Evidence of electoral fraud will likely lead not to more street protests but to a wave of migration out of Venezuela

Associate Fellow and Nuffield Alumna Olga Onuch has published an opinion piece in The Washington Post to share research findings that indicate citizens’ growing discontent with Venezuelan President Maduro’s regime will lead to an increasingly large group of ordinary people – those with few resources to fight and just enough network ties for flight –  will leave the country.

Venezuela protestors call for peaceOnuch’s ongoing research (with LSE student Jeanmiguel Uva and sociologist Sorana Toma - also a Nuffield alumna) explores how ordinary people made choices (to protest, flee or remain) in previous upheavals (in Ukraine and Romania), and uses analysis of nationally representative survey data to posit that those who oppose the regime and those who are poorer are more likely to leave. These two groups’ mass exit will relieve both political and economic pressure on the Maduro regime. The opposition will have fewer supporters to mobilize, and the regime will need to offer fewer conciliatory handouts to its most impoverished supporters.

Her findings don’t bode well for hopes that stability will come to the region any time soon.

Further information:

  • Read Olga Onuch’s opinion piece in The Washington Post
  • Olga Onuch is a Nuffield alumna (DPhil 2007-2010) and former post-doctoral fellow of Nuffield College (2011-2014). She has been an associate member of the College since 2014.
  • Sorana Toma is also a Nuffield Alumna (MSc 2006-7, DPhil 2007-12) and former post-doctoral fellow (2012-14).
  • Their research is part of project undertaken with Nuffield Professorial Fellow Gwendolyn Sasse.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons "Peace message written using cartriges in Venezuela protests against the Nicolas Maduro government, Altamira Square"