Venezuelan Studies

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

Section on Venezuelan Studies 2019-2020 Report

Submitted to LASA, September 2020.

Prepared by Iria Puyosa/ SVS Chair 2018-2020 

I am pleased to report on the activities of the Section on Venezuelan Studies during the year 2019-2002.

Annual Report to the SVS membership

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Section of Venezuelan Studies (SVS) did not hold a meeting to present this report. The formal reporting of activities is done by sending the 2019-2020 SVS Annual Report via the Section listserv. Members have the opportunity to comment on the SVS Annual Report by emailing the same Section listserv.

1- Membership

At the end of May 2020, the Venezuelan Section has 112 registered members. This number is only two fewer members less than the previous year, which is better than expected in the COVID-19 pandemic context.

2- Section of Venezuelan Studies’ efforts to assist Venezuelan scholars

The section leadership was able to moderate the membership's decline by obtaining special funding from private foundations to sponsor Venezuelan scholars. The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) offered a series of grants for Venezuelan researchers to attend the LASA 2020 Congress in Guadalajara. A committee of academics from different universities and different disciplines made the selection of grantees. The SVS Chair remained outside the selection process due to a conflict of interest for having applied to receive a grant. The grants were awarded considering the need for funding and the proposal's academic quality. The grants recipients were: María del Pilar García-Guadilla, Iria Puyosa, Francisco Alfaro, Verónica Zubillaga, José Manuel Puente, Natalia Gan, María Teresa Vera, Iraida Cacique y Miguel Ángel Martínez Meucci. Given the Guadalajara Congress's suspension and the Venezuelan scholars' decision not to participate in the virtual congress, WOLA did not make the disbursements to the grantees. WOLA received the reimbursement from LASA in those cases in which they had paid for the grantees' registration. The Section thanks professor David Smilde for his efforts to obtain the funds for the WOLA grants.

The President of LASA 2018-2019, professor Mara Viveros and the executive secretary Milagros Pereyra offered at the end of 2019 to obtain grants with the Tinker Foundation to finance attendance Guadalajara of the Venezuelan members presenting in the LASA Invited Panel Participación y política contenciosa desde el chavismo y desde la oposición and in the Symposium Trayectoria(s) de la Erosión de la Democracia y la Consolidación del Autoritarismo en Venezuela . LASA did not open a call for requesting these funds. The Section did not take part in this selection process and was not informed of the details. LASA awarded the Tinker grants to Francisco Javier Velasco, María-Pilar García-Guadilla, Francisco Alfaro Pareja, Stefania Vitale, Benigno Alarcón Deza, and Iria Puyosa. María-Pilar García-Guadilla, Francisco Alfaro Pareja, and Iria Puyosa turned down the Tinker grants since they had already accepted the WOLA grants. The Section does not have information concerning the other beneficiaries. However, the panels in which they participated were not presented at the 2019 virtual Congress. As it became a tradition since 2016, the SVS organized a crowdfunding. The amount raised this year was only 699 US$. The lack of success may be because we stopped promoting the crowdfunding in late February when it became clear that the world was heading to a pandemic. It was unlikely that many Venezuelan scholars were going to attend the Guadalajara Congress. The amount raised was transferred to the Venezuelan Section's LASA account in which there is now an available balance of US$ 2,957.53.

The Chair and the Secretary of the Section participated in several meetings with the Institute of International Education to include Venezuelan academics in the Scholar Rescue Fund program. Meetings were held with institutions that could be recipients of Venezuelan scholars, such as the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at Brown University, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) at the University of Michigan. Emails were also exchanged with the University of El Rosario (Colombia) and FLACSO-Ecuador. These efforts were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The comprehensive proposal to address Venezuelan researchers' situation presented at the 2019 LASA Chairs meeting did not receive an official response from the LASA Executive Council. However, the offer of the Tinker grants may have arisen from that effort. The main points in that proposal were the following:

  • Venezuelan Members should be listed as 'Category 4' Members.
  • An automatic subsidy should be given to Venezuelan Residents to cover the annual membership of the Section of Venezuelan Studies.
  • Creating a Fund to support Venezuelan members' participation in the LASA Congress (both residents and non-residents).
  • To develop and promote an initiative to support Venezuelan academics who have recently migrated to other countries.

The Section leadership continued to be concerned because, in LASA, Venezuela may be studied and discussed from afar, in the absence of Venezuelan researchers' voices.

3- Composition of the Committee

After the 2020 elections, the Section Executive Committee is made up of the following members.

  • The members elected for the 2019-2021 period are Miguel Angel Martínez Meucci ( Universidad Austral de Chile), Francisco Alfaro (Independent scholar), María Isabel Puerta Riera (Valencia College) and Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida)
  • The members elected for the 2019-2021 period are Magdalena López (University Institute of Lisbon) , Armando Chaguaceda (Gobierno y Análisis Político AC), John Polga ( United States Naval Academy) , María del Pilar García-Guaduilla (Universidad Simón Bolívar) and the new student representative Oriele Benavides (Princeton University).

The Chair thanks professors Daniel Levine, Margarita López Maya, Magaly Sánchez, Víctor Mijares, Juan Manuel Trak and the student representative Alejandro Martínez for their services to the Section. Raul Sánchez Urribarri will serve as Section Chair 2020-2022, and María Isabel Puerta Riera will serve as the Section Secretary.

4- SVS Panels 2020 Congress

For the 2020 Congress, the SVS sponsored two panels, a Symposium, and co-organized a LASA Invited Panel. Nonetheless, these panels were withdrawn from the virtual Congress, and they will be part of the 2021 Vancouver Congress. The two sponsored panels were the following,

a) Session Title: Life under Authoritarianism: Social and Political Responses in Venezuela. Session Organizer: Maryhen Jiménez Morales; Chair: Aníbal Pérez-Liñán; Discussant: Leiv Marsteintredet; Participants:

Análisis del proceso de construcción de un autoritarismo en el siglo XXI - Author: Juan Trak Vásquez; La degradación de los procesos comiciales en un orden autoritario: Los referendos en Venezuela - Author: Miriam Kornblith; Public-private partnerships: The opposition’s formula to govern in authoritarian settings - Author: Maryhen Jiménez Morales; Shoutings, scoldings and whispers: Women’s responses to Urban Violence and Militarization in two Caracas barrios - Author: Verónica Zubillaga.

b) Session Title: Venezuela 2020: Evidencias de una Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja Organizer: Jose Manuel Puente Chair: Douglas Massey Discussant: Miguel Angel Martinez Meucci Participants:

Venezuelan State-Society new “invisible” relations, and their consequences on the massive exit of population - Magaly Sánchez; La transición venezolana desde la óptica democrática: El autoritarismo inestable de Maduro - Michael McCarthy; El papel de los actores externos ante la transición bloqueada - Susanne Gratius; Venezuela y la Persistencia de una Grave Crisis Económica: Un Enfoque de Economía Política - José Manuel Puente

The LASA invited panel was the following,

Session Title: Participación y política contenciosa desde el chavismo y desde la oposición: Movilización y resistencia desde los colectivos, las organizaciones y los movimientos sociales en Venezuela. Session Organizer: Maria del Pilar García-Guadilla; Session Organizer: Carlos Torrealba; Chair: Maria del Pilar García-Guadilla; Chair: Carlos Torrealba; Discussant: Julia Buxton; Participants:

“No queremos bozal de arepa”: Repertorios de resistencia comunal en la Venezuela después de Chávez - Author: Carlos Torrealba; From “Grupos de Trabajo” to “Colectivos”: The evolution of armed pro-government groups in the Chávez era - Author: Alejandro Velasco; Heterogeneidad del movimiento estudiantil venezolano en la era chavista: impactos políticos de la querella entre objetivos, estrategias y partidización. - Author: Maria del Pilar García-Guadilla; mpgarcia@usb.ve Arco Minero del Orinoco: diversificación extractivista, vulneración de derechos constitucionales y resistencia - Author: Francisco Velasco; The Limits and Possibilities of Participation in the Petro State: The Rise and Fall of Radical Democracy in Torres Municipality - Author: Gabriel Hetland.

The Symposium Trayectoria(s) de la Erosión de la Democracia y la Consolidación del Autoritarismo en Venezuela, organized by Iria Puyosa y Raúl Sánchez Urribarrí comprises three roundtables, as it follows,

Roundtable 1: Erosión de la democracia 

  • María Isabel Puerta. The de-democratization of Latin America’s showcase for democracy: From a democratic chavismo to an autocratic post-chavismo. 
  • Rául Sánchez Urribarri. The Venezuelan Supreme Court and its Role in the Consolidation of Autocratic Rule under Maduro 
  • Adriana Boersner. How does the inner elite circle has evolved in Venezuela? 
  • Stefania Vitale & Benigno Alarcón. La economía política del conflicto en Venezuela.

Roundtable 2: Politización y control en todas las esferas de la vida pública ·

  • John Polga. The Politicization of the Venezuelan Military and Democratic Erosion (1999-2019). ·
  • Paula Vásquez. Prometer consumo y producir escasez. Políticas de suministro alimentario de la “revolución bolivariana”. 
  • Iria Puyosa. Legitimación comunicacional de los autoritarismos del siglo XXI. Erosión de la democracia en cuatro fases.

Roundtable 3: Trayectoria en la teorización del chavismo 

  • Francisco Alfaro. Muerte por desangramiento. De la democracia liberal al autoritarismo hegemónico en Venezuela. 
  • Miguel Angel Martínez Meucci. La Revolución Bolivariana y la evolución de las lógicas totalitarias de poder en el siglo XXI.

The Symposium discussants were Daniel Levine and Juan Manuel Trak.

5. Fernando Coronil Prize

According to the verdict by the jury integrated by Lisa Blackmore ( University of Essex ), Kirk Hawkins ( Brigham Young University), and Javier Guerrero (Princeton University), the Venezuelan Studies Section Fernando Coronil Prize to the Best Book on Venezuela 2018-2019 was awarded to Tides of Revolution (University of New Mexico Press) by Cristina Soriano ( Villanova University ). The Prize will be given out by the Section Chair at the 2021 Vancouver Congress.

6. Venezuelan Studies Conferences

The Section leadership decided to promote the organization of two scholarly events to foster Venezuelan studies.

a. Venezuelan Studies Conference in Caracas

The Venezuelan Studies Conference in Caracas was scheduled for the month of November, on the Andrés Bello Catholic University campus. The organizing committee is made up of Francisco Alfaro, María del Pilar García-Guadilla, Verónica Zubillga, Stefania Vitale, Benigno Alarcón, Iria Puyosa, and Raul Sánchez Urribarri. This conference is being co-organized by the Center for Political and Government Studies of the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello. However, due to the expansion of the coronavirus epidemic, the conference is likely to be postponed to February 2021.

b. Venezuelan Studies Conference in Bogotá

The Organizer Committee of the Venezuelan Studies Conference in Bogotá is integrated by Iria Puyosa, Victor Mijares (Universidad de Los Andes), Jeffrey Cedeño (Universidad Javeriana), and Agrivalca Canelón (Universidad de La Sabana). Initially, the conference was being planned to take place in October on the Universidad Javeriana campus. Conversations were underway with Universidad de El Rosario with the outlook of having them as co-organizer of the conference. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference organizing is on hold until after the quarantine restrictions are fully lifted in Bogotá.

7. Section Statements and Nominations

a. The Executive Committee of the SVS supported the statement prepared by the Amazon Section to alert on the ecological damage caused by the fires in Brazil and Bolivia. Responding to our request, the statement included a specific paragraph on the ecocide that has been committed in the Orinoco Mining Arc since 2016.

b. The Executive Committee of the SVS prepared a statement on "Migration incidents that affect the rights of Venezuelan scholars and researchers." On December 22, 2019, the declaration was signed by 37 of the 113 members of the Section at the time.

c. The SVS Executive Committee promoted the nomination of the co-founder and first Chair of our Section, Professor Daniel Levine, for the Kalman Silvert Award of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). About 60 signatures of LASA members supported this nomination.

d. The Executive Committee of the SVS prepared a statement expressing dissatisfaction with the procedures with which the LASA 2019 virtual Congress was decided. More than 80% of the SVS members chose not to participate in the virtual Congress, and none of the panels sponsored by the Section took place in 2019. The SVS statement opened an organization-wide discussion about the lack of membership participation in LASA decision-making processes.

e. The SVS took leadership in a process to promote the democratization of LASA. In a communication signed by about 200 members from 24 sections, we made four specific requests to make the LASA processes more participatory and representative of its membership's interests. We requested,

  • Revision of the by-laws to provide the association with a more participatory and decentralized structure and reinforce LASA's mission of "promoting the interests of its diverse membership and encouraging civic engagement through the construction of networks public debate."
  • Reduction of conference costs, aligned with the lower prices in other academic associations.
  • Review and audit of financial management for the last five years.
  • Admission of the sections' reports by email, in case it is not possible to carry out the Business Meetings virtually in 2020.

The last request was accepted. It allows us to submit to the membership this Annual Report by email instead of by holding a business meeting. We expect that significant democratization changes and greater transparency will occur in LASA in the next years after this renovation process began.

Iria Puyosa, PhD. Section Chair 2018-2020

Raul Sánchez Urribarry, PhD. Secretary 2018-2020

Section on Venezuelan Studies 2018-2019

Report Submitted to LASA, July 2019
Prepared by Iria Puyosa/ SVS Chair

I am pleased to report on the activities of the Section on Venezuelan Studies, as well as on our regular business meeting held during the LASA 2019 Congress in Boston, USA.

  • Section Business Meeting

The Section of Venezuelan Studies (SVS) business meeting was held on May 29 from 5:45 to 7:15 pm, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Fifty (50) members attended. Chair Iria Puyosa presided the session.

The following points were discussed in the meeting:

1- Declining Membership

The Chair reported that the Venezuelan section has currently 114 registered members (sixteen members less than last year). This membership count will allow the Section to sponsor only two panels for LASA 2020. The Section Chair and other members expressed concern as a substantial increase of academic interest in Venezuela -which is evident in more than 100 papers related to Venezuela presented at this Congress- is being accompanied by a decline in the number of Venezuelan scholars attending the Congress. As it was stated, on a document submitted in the Chairs meeting, in LASA, Venezuela is studied and discussed from afar, in the absence of the voices of Venezuelan researchers.

2- Section of Venezuelan Studies’ proposals to assist Venezuelan past, current and prospective members

The Chair informed that the SVS presented in the LASA Chairs meeting the document approved by the Section Executive Committee with specific proposals to address the situation of Venezuelan researchers that cannot afford to attend LASA congresses. The main proposals are the following: a) Venezuelan Members should be listed as ‘Category 4’ Members; b) Requesting an automatic subsidy for Venezuelan Residents to cover the annual membership of the Section on Venezuelan Studies; c) Creating a Fund to support the participation of Venezuelan members in the LASA Congress (both residents and non-residents); d) Create and promote an initiative to support Venezuelan academics who have recently migrated to other countries. These proposals were received with understanding by the Chairs meeting, and the SVS is expecting a follow-up response from LASA leadership. (Document below)

3- Crowdfunding and SVS Grants

With the membership funds and contributions to the crowdfunding of the Section, four scholarships were granted to researchers resident in Venezuela that applied for support to attend the 2019 Congress. The recipients were Vicente Lecuna (1,000), Margarita López Maya (500$), Claudia Vargas (500$) and Francisco Alfaro (500$).

4- Composition of the Committee

The new composition of the Section Executive Committee, recently elected, was announced.

a. The newly elected members are the following: Miguel Angel Martínez Meucci ( Universidad Austral de Chile) , Francisco Alfaro (Independent scholar ), María Isabel Puerta Riera (Valencia College ) y Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida)

b. The council members elected in 2018 that will continue serving are: Daniel Levine, Margarita López Maya, Magaly Sánchez, Víctor Mijares, Juan Manuel Trak y Alejandro Martínez as graduate student (until 2020)

The Chair thanked Verónica Zubillaga, Alicia Ríos, Nathalie Bouzaglo, Andrés Cañizález and Armando Chaguaceda for their services to the Section.

Raul Sanchez Urribarri will continued to serve as the Secretary and Iria Puyosa as Section Chair (until 2020).

They were welcomed and thanks were given to the outgoing members.

5- SVS Panels

The 2019 Congress SVS featured panels were the following:

a) "The Consolidation of Authoritarian Rule in Venezuela: A Conceptual and Empirical Assessment".

Organizer / Chair: Raul Sanchez Urribarri

Co-Chair: Maryhen Jiménez

Discussant: Veronica Zubillaga

Papers / Authors:

  • Political regime, logics of power and state capacities in Venezuela - Miguel Ángel Martínez Meucci
  • Régimen Híbrido y Apaciguamiento. El Aprovechamiento de los Mecanismos Alternativos de Diálogo y Negociación para el Tránsito hacia el Autoritarismo en Venezuela - Francisco José Alfaro
  • Respuesta Internacional a La Consolidación del Autoritarismo en Venezuela - Adriana Boersner
b) "Freedom of expression, media development, and contemporary Venezuelan politics".

Organizer: Kyong L. Mazzaro

Discussant: Matias Ponce.

Papers / Authors:

  • Electoral competition, partisanship, and the media: A look at restrictions on media freedom in Venezuela (2002-2015) - Kyong L. Mazzaro.
  • Twitter as a battlefield for the survival of Chavism - Iria Puyosa.
c) "La mutación criminal en la era post Chávez".

Organizer: Rebecca Hanson

Discussant: Alejandro Velasco

Papers / Authors:

  • The Paradox of Violence in Venezuela - David Smilde
  • Del punitivismo carcelario a la matanza sistemática: El avance de los operativos militarizados en la era post-Chávez - Veronica Zubillaga & Rebecca Hanson
  • El tiro por la culata: Políticas de seguridad y guerra urbana en Caracas - Andrés Antillano
  • Dinámicas armadas y órdenes territoriales urbanos en Caracas: Un estudio de caso en tres barrios caraqueños - Enrique Desmond Arias

The Section on Venezuelan Studies promoted and help to organize an Intersectional Panel jointed with theSections on Colombian and Ecuadorian Studies, titled: La Gran Colombia: La Invención de la República . However, the venezuelan scholar Tomas Straka was unable to attend the Congress to present his work “ Reconciliándonos con la gloria: la Gran Colombia en el pensamiento político e historiográfico venezolano (1907-1948)”, due to financial constraints. The Intersectional panel was re-organized without the Venezuelan Section participation.

5. SVS Awards

During the Section meeting the SVS Awards to the 2019 Best Articles were presented.

According to the verdict by the jury integrated by Javier Corrales (Amherst College), Alicia Lissidini (National University of San Martin) and Armando Chaguaceda (University of Guanajuato), the Venezuelan Studies Section Award to the Best Article 2019, Social Sciences mention, to: "Soft Balancing the Titans: Venezuelan Foreign Policy Policy Toward the United States, China and Russia" by Víctor M. Mijares (Universidad de los Andes - Bogotá). Two mentions were given to: "The new frontiers of Venezuela's rentier state: Gold mining, cryptocurrency and commodity collateralization" by Antulio Rosales (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oslo) and "From prison punitivism to systematic slaughter: The advance of militarized operations in the post-chávez era "by Veronica Zubillaga (Simón Bolívar University) and Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida). According to the verdict by the jury integrated by Gustavo Guerrero (Université de Cergy-Pontoise//Paris Seine), Gina Saraceni (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) y Colette Capriles (Universidad Simón Bolívar), the Venezuelan Studies Section Award to the Best Article 2019, Humanities mention, was given ex aqueo to “The Welser Phantom: Apparitions of the Welser Venezuela Colony in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century German Cultural Memory" by Giovanna Montenegro (Binghamton University) and "RAW: The Flesh of the Past" by Irina Troconis (New York University).

6. Venezuelan Studies Conferences

The meeting attendees approved to promote and organize Venezuelan Studies conferences that may allow more Venezuelan researcher to present their work and scholarly discuss with colleagues.

a. Venezuelan Studies in Caracas

Francisco Alfaro, new member of the SVS Executive Committee volunteered to lead the Organizer Committee of the Venezuelan Studies Conference in Caracas. Fernando Torres, Claudia Vargas and Víctor Mijares will be part of this Organizer Committee. Other Venezuelan academics unable to attend the LASA Congress in Boston may join this committee.

b. Venezuelan Studies in Bogotá

Victor Mijares volunteered to lead the Organizer Committee of the Venezuelan Studies Conference in Bogotá.

7. Funding to support membership academic work

Those attending the meeting agreed that the most important issue faced by the Venezuelan Studies Section is to seek funding opportunities to keep Venezuelan scholars participating in academic activities. David Smilde volunteered to lead these efforts.

8. Other Relevant Matters

a. SVS’ declaration regarding Venezuela’s Forced Migration Crisis

On October 2018, the SVS published a declaration urging the Latin American Studies community of scholars to pay attention to the ongoing Venezuelan crisis and to give support to Venezuelan researchers forced to migrate in the last five years. This declaration was signed by 83 members of the SVS ( Attached ). The Section did not receive messages of support from the LASA Executive Council or others Section, although some colleagues expressed support on a personal level

b. Social media team

The Chair thanked Cecilia Rodríguez and Manuel Silva Ferrer for their services handling the SVS social media accounts. Since Cecilia Rodríguez will no longer will be helping in this work, María Isabel Puerta volunteered to join the social media team.

c. Naming the Best Articles Award

The proposal of opening to membership vote of the name for the best paper award in both Social Sciences and Humanities was approved by the attendees to the meeting. The name of the awards will honored outstanding Venezuelan scholars.

d. Academic collaboration

Those attending the meeting -specially those joining the Section Executive Committee. agreed to continue working on enhancing the role of the Section as a hub to create and consolidate academic networks, in order to foster collaboration between residents in Venezuela and members based overseas, especially those who have been forced to leave Venezuela in the past five years.

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Latin American Studies Association

Section on Venezuelan Studies

Latin American Studies Association

2019 Annual Meeting

LASA Section Chairs Dear Colleagues,

We would like to call your attention to, and address, the devastating impact of Venezuela’s current socio-economic, political and humanitarian crisis on our fellow colleagues from Venezuela. We would like to set aside the debate about the crisis itself, and focus on exploring options to assist our colleagues. This includes many of those who have been members of this organisation, and dedicated their efforts to nurture and develop it, for years prior. Assisting them is not a mere favour: It is our professional duty.

The Section on Venezuelan Studies has attempted to discuss options to help our Venezuelan colleagues and consider the difficulties they face due to the country’s crisis since at least 2010, when the country’s crisis began becoming apparent. Our previous chairs David Smilde, Margarita López Maya, Javier Guerrero and Vicente Lecuna, tried to bring this matter to the attention of the Association’s Executive Council to no avail. Given the magnitude of the crisis at this stage, we hope that the Executive Council and the Chairs of the Association’s Section decide to act without further delays.

The Section of Venezuelan Studies’ proposals to assist Venezuelan past, current and prospective members is the following:

1. Venezuelan Members should be listed as ‘Category 4’ Members

Listing Venezuela as a ‘Category 4’ country would be of enormous help to our colleagues. Venezuelan academics make less than US$ 10,000 a year (in fact, they make about US$64 a year, including annual leave). Currently, Venezuelan academics pay US$ 45 + US$ 12 = US$ 57 for their membership. By designating Venezuela as ‘Category 4’, members would pay US$17 + US$12 = US$29. This would make it easier for our members to keep their affiliation to the Association, and to find and use subsidies and donations effectively to assist them.

2. Requesting an automatic subsidy for Venezuelan Residents to cover the annual membership of the Section on Venezuelan Studies

We propose the following mechanism: When a member resident in Venezuela becomes member of the Section on Venezuelan Studies, or renews their membership, they automatically receive a US$12 subsidy to cover their membership fees from a LASA fund created to this effect.

3. Creating a Fund to support the participation of Venezuelan members in the Annual Meeting (both residents and non-residents)

We are concerned that a substantial increase of academic interest in Venezuela -which is evident in more than 100 papers at this Congress- is being accompanied by a decline in the number of Venezuelan scholars attending the Congress. Venezuela in LASA is studied and discussed from afar, in the absence of the voices of Venezuelan researchers. To address this problem, we would like to establish a Venezuelan Grants Fund . We ask that LASA donates the US$5 it retains for each SVS membership toward a new Venezuelan Grants Fund, that the Section would use towards our annual travel grants. The SVS has been supporting attendance at the LASA congress of Venezuelan academics with crowdfunding. This year we awarded four travel grants with funds obtained by this initiative. However, this initiative does not provide an institutional, sustainable and efficient response to the problem. A travel grant funds with enough institutional support would.

4. Create and promote an initiative to support Venezuelan academics who have recently migrated to other countries

The difficulty to obtain funds for attending the LASA Congress also persists among colleagues who have been forced to expatriate, and who also do not count on institutional funds for research and attendance at events. Therefore, we need to expand our efforts to raise funds and thus meet their growing needs. In that sense, we reiterate the call we made in the declaration on the Massive Forced Migration Crisis of Venezuelans , which we published in October 2018: "The Venezuelan Studies Section of LASA also calls on its members and other colleagues in the association to receive Venezuelan researchers who are part of the population forced to emigrate from Venezuela, so that they can provide support that allows them to continue with their academic careers, at least as temporary visiting researchers in host institutions. "

Iria Puyosa

Section on Venezuelan Studies - Chair

Raul Sanchez Urribarri

Section on Venezuelan Studies - Secretary