Venezuela: Is There a
A panel discussion on the
current political situation in
and on the options for a democratic, constitutional
solution to the crisis
Click name to view bio:
Ambassador Jorge Valero
Ambassador Jorge Valero is
the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the Organization of American States. Before his
current appointment, Ambassador Valero served as President of the Latin
American Parliament’s Social Debt Commission.
He has extensive service as a public official, including time as the
Director of the National Border Council and as a Deputy in the Venezuelan
National Congress. Ambassador Valero has represented Venezuela as Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Ambassador to the
Republic of Korea. He served as a board member of the Investor’s
Fund of Venezuela and as Governor of the OPEC Fund for International
Development. Ambassador Valero was
President of the Presidential Preparatory Commission for the Second OPEC
Ambassador Valero graduated
from the University of Los Andes (ULA) in History and continued his
postgraduate studies at the University of Central Venezuela (UCV). He received his Master’s degree in Latin
American Studies from the University of
London. He has taught at the
University of Los Andes and at the
Thomas A. Shannon
Thomas A. Shannon is Deputy
Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S.
Department of State. He is responsible for all aspects of U.S. bilateral relations with Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and the Caribbean nations.
A career member of the
Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Shannon began his current assignment in June, 2002.
Previously, he served as the Director of Andean Affairs (2001-2002) and as the
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States
(2000-2001). He served as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National
Security Council from 1999 to 2000, and was a Political Counselor at the U.S.
Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.
Mr. Shannon holds a Ph.D.
and a Master’s degree in Politics from Oxford
University. He holds a B.A. degree from the
College of William and Mary, where he graduated with honors in government and philosophy
and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Omar García-Bolívar is
Director of the Coordinadora Internacional Venezolana, the international branch
of the Venezuelan opposition. His professional work has focused on advising
foreign investors about business opportunities and regulatory frameworks in Latin America. He is a founding partner of BG Consulting, Inc., in
Washington D.C., where he specializes in advising developing
countries on public policies that promote foreign investment.
García-Bolívar has brought several cases to the Venezuelan Supreme Court to
test the legality of presidential actions. He was a plaintiff before the
Venezuelan Supreme Court in a case contesting the suspension of constitutional
rights by President Caldera in 1994. He also filed a petition in the Venezuelan
Supreme Court against President Hugo Chávez’s call for a referendum to write a
new constitution. He recently filed a request before the Venezuelan Supreme
Court to confirm the binding nature of a referendum.
García-Bolívar has taught at several universities, including the Universidad
Católica Andrés Bello and the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Mr.
García-Bolívar graduated “cum laude” from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. He
studied political science at the Universidad Simón Bolívar, earned a Master’s
degree in Law from Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
Texas and received his M.Phil and Ph.D in Law and Foreign
Investment from the University of
Schott is a prominent journalist and correspondent in the Venezuelan media. She
earned her degree at the Universidad Católica Andres Bello of Caracas. She has Master’s degrees in International
Relations and Law from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and from the
Hochschule fuer Politik in Munich, Germany.
Schott has worked as a reporter for the Venezuelan weekly magazine
"Momento". Currently she works
as a correspondent for CMT Channel 51 of Venezuela and as a U.S. correspondent for Globovision Venezuela. She writes the column "Venezuela en
Washington," which is published on the web page of
Dr. James Ferrer
is the founder and director of the Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) at
the George Washington
University. CLAI was established in 1992 to help expand the
University’s Latin American Program; to stimulate the preparation of scholarly
publications and articles on Latin
America; to conduct
educational training programs; and to encourage debate on major political,
economic, and social issues affecting Latin America.
Dr. Ferrer was a
director of VASP Brazilian Airlines, being responsible for the United States, Canada, and Asia. From 1986
until 1990, he was the Deputy U.S. Ambassador and Acting Ambassador in Brazil. From 1979 to 1983, he was the director of the
Office of Aviation and Communication Affairs for the Department of State. Dr.
Ferrer worked as a Director of Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in
Lisbon from 1975 to 1979. In addition to these foreign
diplomatic positions, Dr. Ferrer directed the economic/commercial section at
the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, served in the economic sections of the
U.S. embassies in Buenos Aires and Santiago, directed the Brazil Desk at the
State Department, worked in the Intelligence and Research Bureau of the State
Department, and served in the administrative offices of the Latin American
obtained his Ph.D. in Latin American History from the
University of California at
Berkeley, his Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from
the same university, and his M.P.A. in Economics from